Why do we always assume people with three names are bad? Is it because we associate them with poshos like Laurence Llewlyn-Bowen and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, people who sneer at us from our tellies and tell us our wallpaper is bad and our food is badder? Probably. But don’t worry, because James Leonard Hewitson’s name is not hyphenated – I repeat – it is not hyphenated, so I guess he can join our gang or whatever?
And hey, if you’re a person who’s into scuzzy, grungy guitar rock then you’d better let Hartlepool boy Hewitson into your treehouse because he’s gone and done a really good track. ‘Dream Person’ is a hazy bit of indie that isn’t crap, and that in itself is a pretty good achievement nowadays.
‘Dream Person’ takes a sideways glance at society’s focus on traditional gender roles, rejecting the typical dream boy/dream girl trope that is so often fed to us in lazy love songs. Instead, Hewitson asserts, it’s all about the person behind the gender. “It’s not in aesthetics, it’s in someone’s heart,” he sings and, in his almost deadpan, but charmingly so, voice, this is really quite touching.
As the song edges towards its finale, it descends into a clatter of jagged guitars, rough and anxious, before Hewitson resurfaces, this time accompanied by Gilian Rodgers for the final bridge. It’s a nice touch – Rodgers’ female vocals complement Hewitson’s well in a fitting addition to a track about the space between the genders. As Hewitson and Rodgers sing in unison, this space is erased, the masculine and the feminine in harmony.
Pansexuality is a theme not often explored in guitar music, but with ‘Dream Person’ James Leonard Hewitson is finally helping to fill the gap.