Songwriting, mortality, and the beauty of music with Paul Dixon...
Fyfe (Credit: Adama Jalloh)

Paul Dixon is fresh from recording a set at Metropolis Studios as part of Ellesse’s Make It Music initiative, a series of live performances showcasing the next wave of popular music. The songs are drawn from his new album ‘The Space Between’, the second release under his Fyfe moniker and a more mature effort than debut ‘Control’. “I think that there was a lot of me in ‘Control’ and it was a really special record for a lot of reasons,” explains Fyfe, “but I really felt I could fill my lungs more with this record. I hope that people can hear that there’s a sense of enjoyment from me, that it wasn’t a laboured process”.

‘The Space Between’ is far more than just a collection of the well-oiled tracks that Fyfe has come to be known for; it’s a concept album where the theme is the arc of life itself, beginning with stories about birth and fatherhood (“I’m not a father, but I’ve seen my siblings become parents and I was putting myself in their situation as much as I could”) and ending with a suite of songs about encroaching death.

“I didn’t expect to write a concept album,” he insists, “but about halfway through it became obvious that there was a common theme.” This realisation came after writing two of the last tracks on the album: ‘Fault Lines’ and ‘All We Need’. “‘Fault Lines’ is about someone who died very suddenly, and ‘All We Need’ is about my gran, who died over a very long period suffering from Alzheimer’s. Afterwards I looked back at the other tracks and was like, ‘Okay, this arc is very obvious to me.’”

Despite its focus on mortality, Fyfe insists that it’s in no way depressing. “We’re all going to die; I know that sounds morbid, but for me it’s hopeful.” His outlook is reflected in the dying roses that adorn its cover (photographed by Simon Bray). “I was thinking a lot about sickness, and I think sometimes we write people off when they’re ill. But there’s so much life to be had even when you’re sick. Those flowers for me really embodied that - even though they’re dying or dead, they’re actually more beautiful than when they were alive and fresh. That spoke to me about the whole theme: that life is beautiful, not just when you’re young, but when you’re old and you might be suffering, when we die and celebrate someone’s life. That resonated with me.”

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Fyfe wears Ellesse throughout

Words: Josh Gray
Photography: Adama Jalloh

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