Gus Dapperton – Orca: A refreshing record that oozes originality
Over the past four years Gus Dapperton has enjoyed a gradual rise to becoming a respected indie artist, achieving critical acclaim while building a solid and committed fan base. The New Yorker boasts a unique voice and oozes originality – refreshing in a world where much of what we hear sounds the same. Dapperton has that rare ability of being able to command commercial appeal while also offering a unique output of material, and the fact that he writes and produces all of his work allows him to maintain full creative control and ownership. Like Prince or Lana Del Rey, there’s a sense that the singer could never be chained down by record executives. He does what he wants, believes in his art and his effortlessly cool persona along with that inherent creativity is his biggest draw.
Although the artist has released several EP’s, Orca marks his “difficult second album”, after 2019’s critically acclaimed Where Polly People Go to Read. The follow-up – sticking with his winning formula of combining an overall laid back, smooth synth-pop sound with upbeat numbers and thoughtful, often poetic lyrics – offers us a closer glimpse into the real Dapperton. Baring his soul and confronting his vulnerabilities and inner demons, the singer explores weighty themes, but that’s not to say this is ever morose or downbeat. Far from it.
Bottle Opener kicks us off. Well constructed musically and lyrically, the song has a deceptively light and poppy sound, in contrast with its candid content. This sets the scene for a record built on honesty; we immediately feel reacquainted with the Dapperton we know while being under no illusions that the artist has grown and matured, both vocally and in terms of his artistry.
Deep content running under an inviting sound continues on First Aid, with Bluebird, Post Humorous and Medicine being further standout tracks. Australian artist Chela joins Dapperton on My Say So, with their voices complementing each other beautifully, making for another highlight.
We’re gifted just ten songs, some of which are arguably too short, but a lot is compacted into this album, which both entertains and provokes a great deal of thought and emotion. It’s an impressive project that only reaffirms Dapperton as an engaging, eclectic and entertaining artist who undoubtedly has an exciting future ahead.
Photo: Jess Farran
Orca is released on 18th September 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Gus Dapperton’s website here.
Watch the video for Post Humorous here: