Album Review: Gus Dapperton, ‘Where Polly People Go to Read’

Roisin Hickey/ April 29, 2019/ Latest On The Mic, New Releases, Reviews, Reviews/ 0 comments

Following the release of the hit song ‘Prune you Talk Funny’, Gus Dapperton is back with his debut album ‘Where Polly People go to Read’. Comprising 10 songs, Dapperton continues to maintain his characteristic bedroom visionary vibe by combining components of different musical eras to his latest piece of work. Gus intertwines elements of 60’s soft rock, 70’s psychedelic and 80’s new wave whilst including more modern notes of R&B.

The title of the album comes from Dapperton’s own reflections on gender and sexuality norms. Gus had said he drew genderless ‘Polly People’ doodles and envisioned them as “open-minded characters, sort of like aliens, who would exist in the universe inside of his head. They’re eclectic creative types who aren’t afraid to be themselves. They live in an alternate dimension. For the album’s sake, it just means this is the place they go to congregate, study, and whatnot. It’s all in my mind”.

Verdigris’ opens the album with classic Gus Dapperton synth harking back to 80’s new wave through the use of his increasingly recognisable synthesizer. The song opens with and continues through a back and forth conversation between war and all things sweet- ice cream and dreams. It’s followed by ‘World Class Cinema’, which gave us an insight into the world of Gus before the album with its earlier release as a single. It keeps the flow of minimalist synth percussion going. The song is filled with loads of synth which makes it an upbeat, chilled song, but equally the acoustics and lyrics give it so much soul and personality.

‘Nomadicon’ slows the album right down with classic Gus synth and dreamy romantic lyrics. With elements from 70’s psych and 80’s rock, I think this is definitely the most underrated song on the album. However, the slow pace does not last for long as ‘Eyes for Ellis’ follows- a truly hypnotic alternative club which gives a change of tempo and hones in on true 70’s psychedelic vibes that make you feel like you’re floating.

‘Coax & Botany’ is a real psych, dream-synth bop. Gus slows the pace back down and gives us another load of his dreamy lyrics in lines such as ‘I could die with your eyes’, making any sad gal or lad melt. ‘Sockboy’ follows, which has a classic 60’s soft rock and 70’s psych feels to it. The synth is ever-present and makes it another upbeat song on the album, even with its sad-boy lyrics.

‘Roadhead’ follows with the typical synth and psych base but takes on more of an acoustic R&B feel to it. ‘My Favourite Fish’ follows and is another one which was released as a single before the release of the album. It is filled with dreamy lyrics complimented by bluesy acoustics that make you just want to sway and drift into the world of Gus Dapperton.

‘Fill Me Up Anthem’ is another pre-release and is the penultimate song on the album. It is filled with growling vocals from Gus accompanied by 80’s new wave vibes. The song reeks of sexual frustration, a theme which is becoming more and more popular with the younger generation, arguably so they can get a kick out of listening to sexual songs without actually having sex. ‘I Ascend’ completes the album with its short, sweet and classic Gus synth sound. It is filled with synth, piano and acoustics, making it the perfect end to an album that has showcased some of music’s best eras.

‘Where Polly People Go to Read’ simply oozes charm and is entangled in dreamy synths and acoustics. The album seems like it does belong in a kind of alternative dimension with all its psychedelic elements that make you feel like you’re a part of Gus’ world. Filled with blissful tracks and peppered with both dreamy and snarling vocals from Gus, there are definitely some hidden gems on this album which take a few listens to absorb. It’s important to acknowledge that Gus is inviting us into the world inside his head. The songs are excitingly personal so sit back, digest, and enjoy the wonder of Gus Dapperton.

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