Badly Drawn Boy

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About Badly Drawn Boy

After the Britpop bubble burst in the late ’90s, the UK music press found an unlikely new saviour in the form of Damon Gough, the scruffy, self-effacing, perma-toqued singer better known as Badly Drawn Boy. Born in 1969 in Manchester, Gough started out making quirky DIY recordings in the mid-’90s, and his burgeoning underground renown landed him a spot among Thom Yorke and Richard Ashcroft on Psyence Fiction, the 1998 album from James Lavelle’s all-star electronic project UNKLE. But Gough’s full-length debut as Badly Drawn Boy, 2000’s The Hour of Bewilderbeast, recast this lo-fi eccentric as an art-pop visionary—part Nick Drakean folk diarist, part Nilsson-like piano prankster, part Beatles-esque sound collagist. After that record won him the Mercury Prize in the UK, Gough maintained his lofty cruising altitude with 2002’s platinum-selling soundtrack to About a Boy, which brought the influence of ’60s sunshine pop and soul to the fore. Gough continued on his steady soft-rockin’ course through the 2000s, before addictions and health issues sidelined him for much of the next decade. But in 2020, a freshly sober Gough resurfaced with his first proper record in 10 years, Banana Skin Shoes, sounding thoroughly re-energized on the album’s discofied delight “Is This a Dream?”

Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England
2 October 1969
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