Gus Dapperton first exploded on scene in 2016 as a singer, songwriter, and vibe maestro who invites you to take up residence deep inside of his subconscious. He released songs straight from his upstate NY bedroom like “Prune, You Talk Funny” and “I’m Just Snacking.” He soon followed up with the 2018 release of Where Polly People Go To Read, showcasing Dapperton’s talent for melodies and lyrical whimsy with tracks like the drama-filled “World Class Cinema”, the slow-tempo aquatic love song “My Favorite Fish,” and r&b-tinged “Fill Me Up Anthem”.
Dapperton is excited to announce the release of his long awaited second album, Orca, out this September 18th via AWAL. If you’ve followed the 23-year-old’s career from the bright and charming early singles and EPs to 2018’s full-length album Where Polly People Go to Read, you’ll recognize that the singer-songwriter-producer has entered new territory here. The new album explores human pain and suffering, but also healing and redemption. Orca was written and produced by Dapperton, with Spike Stent (Frank Ocean, Lady Gaga, Beyonce) mixing the album.
“Post Humorous” is accompanied by a video featuring Dapperton’s friends from around the world, each taking part in sharing lyrics from the track, including his sister Amadelle, photographer Jess Farran, skater Erik Arteaga, musicians Benee, Remi Wolf, Orion Sun, and Santi, plus many more.
Dapperton began writing Orca while on tour in 2018, exhilarated by performing for fans and first-time listeners in countries he’d never visited before, but feeling the stresses of the road as well. “I was unbalanced,” he recalls. “My lifestyle and habits had gotten extreme. I wasn’t getting eight hours of sleep a night, I was drinking and doing drugs often. Wasn’t eating healthy. And on top of it, I was performing. A show can be the most inspirational, emotional high; but if something goes wrong it can be devastating.”
Those precipitous highs and lows, and the desire for home, took Gus to dark places—even if it wasn’t obvious to those around him. One of the nastier aspects of depression is how it sabotages and dismantles connection; you’re alone in your head, feeling unable to communicate what you’re going through, and if you’re a young, physically healthy person the folks around you won’t necessarily see what’s afflicting you.
Gus’s creative decisions in pursuit of a raw sound to match these raw emotions didn’t come easily. “I’m a huge advocate for putting myself in vulnerable positions in my music,” he says but admits that confronting these feelings “was a chance to be open that I was afraid of.” But he pushed himself and, with the help of his friends and family, came out on the other side stronger. “It was cathartic to put these emotions into music,” he says. When Orca is released in September, he won’t be the only one feeling that way.