Heartbreak, anxiety, and the motions that propel you back into those cynical cycles– only but a few of the raw documentations of emotion that comes from Gus Dapperton’s highly anticipated second album “Orca”. Capturing juxtaposing sensations through a number of emotive compositions, the 23-year-old artist captures pain in all it’s intricate scenarios. Exploring his complexion of healing both through internal confrontations and perceived isolation, Dapperton conveys his feelings in a most vulnerable manner.

As the artists had previously commented on this process, “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.

In contrast to his previous work, Gus has entered a new territory here, surveying untapped emotions in his otherwise optimistic pop-driven releases. A meticulous documentation of both highs and lows, the listener feels as if they almost accompany Dapperton through a series of experiences, often drawn from his unbalanced lifestyle that came from rapid success and relentless touring. After craving a need for home and normality, Gus became consumed by his thoughts and feelings, further resulting in the cathartic outcome of “Orca”.

Tracks like “Bluebird” carry an emotional burden that contrast the bright melodies of the song. As he sings, “My grave puts all the weight on hold”, we’re reminded of his existential anxiety serving as another complex layer to the album. Another standout like “Grim” continues to carry these paranoias into expansive feelings of angst. Accompanied by striking electric guitars and a dose of rock banter, we find Gus grappling with his anger through an irritating series of proclamations. With the use of these tracks to carry his emotion, towards the second half of the album the artist begins to open up to the doubt and desolation in his head.

With a sincere series of opening keys, we can already sense “Antidote” is a point of departure for the artist. Accompanied by soaring vocals and a hazy soundscape we confront a complete exposure of vehemence from Gus, as he struggles with feelings of affirmation and trust towards others. The album closes off with “Swan Song” a loose stream of consciousness that perfectly captures where we find the artist after his vulnerability throughout the album. Coming to terms with both his well being and the lack of closure that comes with falling in love, the artist shares encouraging thoughts towards valuing himself. Raw and unfeigned “Orca” is inarguably Dapperton’s most compelling work yet.


Stream: AWAL
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