Gus Dapperton — Orca — Album Review

Post Punk | Indie Pop | Lo-fi

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

“Have you listened to Gus Dapperton?”, a friend asked me while waiting for the train. “The name rings a bell, but I haven’t” was my truthful answer. But nevertheless, that was how I discovered the Warwick, New York singer/songwriter, known by family and friends as Brendan Patrick Rice, but known musically as Gus Dapperton.

While me and my friend were having this conversation, it was the track “Post Humorous” that was the main focus of the conversation. And thus, it became my gateway track to the discography of Gus.

Fast-forward to earlier this week, and I discover the fresh released that was Gus Dapperton’s sophomore album, titled Orca, shortly after really letting the likes of “Post Humorous” grow on me. What I began to really like about that track especially, was it’s brilliant blend of moodiness, emotion, and a relaxed vibe. It really allowed the track to become something quite unique amongst the many other types of music that I follow. And I am pleased to say, that the qualities that made that teaser track so enjoyable, translate very well onto the rest of the album.

And while we’re on the topic of teaser tracks, the likes of “Medicine” (which was the most recently released teaser for Orca at the time that I discovered the music of Gus Dapperton) became one of those tracks that definitely grew on me more upon the full album’s release. Initially, I didn’t think of it as having the same kind of impact on me as “Post Humorous” had, but ultimately, I feel that the style behind “Medicine” really fits in well with the album’s overall aesthetic.

And because the aesthetic of Orca was so smooth in a lot of its sounds, there were many instances of the first couple of listens of the album, where my critical attention towards the project often drifted away. And while I would normally deem this a symptom of an unmemorable album, Orca’s “blending into the background” feel only felt like at advantage that this album had. But in time, I feel that most of this album’s track needed just a little more time to grow on me, all like differently coloured, but equally pretty flowers. And on the more recent listents, my affection towards the album is generally becoming all-the-more clear.

On the flip-side of the wonderfully atmospheric and oddly soothing characteristics of this album, there’s also something about the gritty, moody and emotive vocal deliveries from Gus Dapperton himself. While not quite pitch-perfect in parts, and sometimes hard to enjoy at its worst points, the emotion that Gus pours into every track is definitely there. In most cases, the vocals blend in very well with the production, and the versatile array of instrumentation that comes with it.

And while there were a few duds around the midsection of this album, most of the ten tracks that this album carries are both highly enjoyable, and reflective of the moody aesthetic. Overall, this album felt like a very immersive gateway to Gus Dapperton as a person (which would technically be Brendan Rice, but I digress). And while my overall verdict on this album is very positive, I am hopeful that there is still some room for this album to grow on me even more towards the end of the year. Let us wait and see what beautiful musical bouquet Orca ends up being, shall we?

Favourite Tracks: First Aid | Post Humorous | Palms

Least Favourite Track: Grim

Gus Dapperton | AWAL Recordings America


My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.