Gus Dapperton // Orca // Album Review

Riding on the back of his wildly successful debut record, New York-based singer and songwriter Gus Dapperton did not wither under the pressure of releasing an equally acclaimed album. Despite its artistic differences, Dapperton’s sophomore album Orca harbours the same enthusiasm as Where Polly People Go to Read.

Dapperton’s dreamlike bedroom pop was what first attracted so many to his music. Orca sees the songwriter lay himself bare as he experiments a new musical avenue. Dapperton’s signature harmonious jingles are exchanged for darker, ominous indie-rock undertones. As a one-man producer predominantly, it’s obvious how much time and thought has been put into the creative process of this art.

The engagement to Dapperton’s music has seen him enter the mainstream space, becoming synonymous with viral Tik Tok dances. Orca strips away these connotations attached to his name, revealing the emotional vulnerability that accompanies a twenty-something year old. The raw emotional confessions shared within his lyrics, emphasised by his experimental vocal range allows audiences to look into who Gus Dapperton is beyond the coloured buzzcut and eccentric fashion sense.

Dapperton’s artistic development is evidently displayed in this record as he broadens his sound and style. Opening song, ‘Bottle Opener’ creates the tone for the entire album as the title and lyrics suggest that Dapperton is finally unbottling his emotions.

“I don't know if I'll last until tomorrow / It's such an arduous task to always bottle it up / If you could lend me a breath that I could borrow”

Tracks “Post Humorous” and “Grim” highlight the emotional intimacy in the album. The lyrics’ transparency immerses listeners in the full experience. Beyond the catchy melodies of some singles, Dapperton still reaches a level of maturity in ‘Antidote’ and ‘First Aid’ as he hovers over the topics of depression, isolation and self-harm.

Similar to his unapologetically emotional opener, Dapperton bookends the album with an equally charged closer. “Swan Song” has Dapperton depart bittersweetly with listeners as he self-reflects one more time.

The hype Dapperton’s second album is receiving is of no surprise. The talented artist sustains audiences’ attention with his increasingly diverse sounds. There is no doubt the story of Gus Dapperton will continue to flourish.

Top picks:

1. Blue Bird

2. Post Humorous

3. My Say So

Orca by Gus Dapperton is available everywhere now.

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