Richard Dawson’s last album, 2017’s Peasant, was an epic folk tale full of grotty characters, epic journeys and grisly battles; a truly unique way to express the Geordie songwriter’s neuroses. Last year’s album with his other project Hen Ogledd, Mogic, was a much more modern and future-facing album. His new solo record, 2020 also looks to the future, but not that far - the looming doubts and fears from modern life in Britain only allow us to look a limited distance ahead.

With his singular voice and style, Dawson weaves his way through the macro and micro troubles in the lives of the characters he portrays, which all add up to the mildly threatening fog of uncertainty that we all currently find ourselves in. This encompasses the relatively trivial, like finding a slug between your toes, to the utterly despicable, like a Kurdish family having their window smashed by a brick. In painting his vision of Britain on 2020, Dawson takes us into beer gardens, onto football pitches and through council estates. He takes on the roles of a civil servant, an Amazon warehouse operative and a bar manager at Carling Academy. We’ll see him take voluntary redundancy, drop his daughter off at university and piss in a bottle. It’s safe to say the fantasy of Peasant is long behind us.

Richard Dawson’s commitment to detail means that these songs are long and often without a hook, but Mark Kozelek-style senile sleepy time songs these are not. Shifting from crunchy rock belters to intimate finger-picked ballads, the songs give Dawson plenty of space to emphasise the humour and the horror, which are often found side by side in his stories.

The tumbling ‘Two Halves’, about a son playing football watched on by his vociferous father, is full of laugh-inducing lines, from sneering “you’re not Lionel Messi” to chanting “Man on! Man on!” in one of the truest choruses he’s ever written. The jaunty ‘Black Triangle’ tells the tale of Dawson and his mate Neil’s UFO sighting back in their early 20s – and then shifts into a reflection about losing his wife to another man. ‘Jogging’ droops and surges with low moods and endorphin rushes, Dawson relating his exit from his secondary school job, taking up jogging, the attack on his immigrant neighbours, being prescribed anti-depressants and committing to run the marathon to raise funds for the British Red Cross – the definition of turbulent.

The selection of more intimately personal songs on 2020 aren’t the ones that jump out on initial listens, but are the ones that leave the most lasting images. In ‘The Queen’s Head’ he’s scrambling from visiting his mother with dementia to help out his nephew, whose pub has been flooded after the Humber burst its banks. ‘Heart Emoji’ sees him grabbing a knife from the dishwasher in the middle of the night with the intention of stabbing the girlfriend he suspects of cheating. After he drops of his daughter at university in ‘Fresher’s Ball’, we find him crying in front of Match Of The Day.

There is no reason for this to go on listing all the unique and universal tales of modern life to be found in 2020; you’ll know by now if it’s something that interests you. This brand of tell-all genreless rock may seem impenetrable at first, but a few listens is all it takes before you’ll be hooked by Richard Dawson’s paranoia, honesty and poetry.