Artist: Gus Dapperton
EP: Yellow and Such
I first stumbled upon Gus Dapperton, two months, ago when he released his music video for “I’m Just Snacking.” I had no clue who he was, the only information I had was another artist I took interest to was the starring role (other than Gus—himself). She had shared only a fifteen second clip to her Instagram, and immediately after seeing the clip, and the art style—I had to watch it.
I remember she was wearing a fur coat, over her red dress. It was the look of the fur, the dress, the glistening gold from the elevator she stepped from. It reminded me so much of a modernized Fitzgerald story, and I was sold.
I searched youtube for the video, and for nearly four minutes was immersed into the story, driven by—not only the song—but aesthetics, color, and cinematography. The entirety of the video was phenomenal, and when it was through, I watched it again, and again.
After my initial discovery of “I’m Just Snacking.” I was at work and found myself lost in incessant humming of the melody to the addictive single. I found Gus on Sound Cloud, and listened to all three songs he released to his page on repeat. I also searched his name on Apple Music, but at the time all he had posted were the two singles—the same two on his Sound Cloud. After that, I was a listener. I kept revisiting, “I’m Just Snacking” periodically—the video and the song.
The video for “I’m Just Snacking” could be reviewed as a sole piece, Matthew Cohen and Gus together really create something magical—that, in my opinion, only increases with each video. The Vogue magazine video was one I randomly found. I had ventured into youtube once more—two months later—to watch the video for “I’m Just Snacking.” Instead, I was greeted by this video, posted only three days prior.
I watched the video, titled: “Yellow and Such X Vogue”, all two minutes of it, probably ten times in that one sitting. It was a fantastic display of film, at least in my opinion. Not only that, the song he introduced caught me immediately, it was the best one yet in my opinion.
After the shock and awe of the video wore off I searched his name once more on Apple Music. Without reading anything or doing any prior research, there I found his new EP, Yellow and Such—the title of which I was already aware of. I was surprised to find it was only an EP, and a bit disappointed. I was hoping for a longer trip down the reverberating dream sequences Gus flourishes in writing and producing.
The EP is four incredible songs, all diverse, but cohesive through similar synths, production, and especially the electric guitar. The clean feel of the electric guitar throughout the album meshing with the synths really keeps the different feeling of each song glued; I mean along with Gus’ melodies and lyrics, of course.
The first track is “I’m Just Snacking,” which is the first song he released from the EP. This song is fantastic the melody is catchy but also fits well with the driving ambience and drums. The lyrics are very “out-there,” intense with surreal imagery and dreamscapes. I have a mild bias toward them because of their differences to other lyrics. He pairs words together and forms different images with his poetry, especially with the verses. The chorus seems to be the focus. I feel the song is even set up that way with the lyrics, and how the lyrics are written. The chorus seems more straight forward than the rest of the song—but still it could still be interpreted different ways. The dreamy synths and reverb beat kept me floating and bobbing through the entire song. It’s the only song that makes me want to spontaneously dance whenever I hear it. The only thing I disliked about the song, and its such a minuscule complaint, is the way he sings the lyrics. Before the lyrics were typed out on Apple, I was left to speculate what Gus was singing half the time. I understand the style and it works, so I can’t really complain, but if I were to give any preference of mine it would be that his vocals were delivered with a little more annunciation. It's the most overbearing in this song, in the other three he does convery the same sort of vocal style but they seem a bit clearer. Much like the second track, it holds a bit of darkness—though it sounds more melancholy than dark, or the feeling of melancholy molding into a much darker force. This is how I perceive the flow from track one to two.
The second track is titled "Miss Glum & The Pursuit of Falling.” This song was my least favorite when I first heard the EP, but only because it was the most different. It quickly became one of my favorites after a few plays. The factor of the song that makes it so much different from the others is the darkness of the ambience and the feeling of the song. The simple chord strikes on the piano through the verse and most of the song are almost off-putting, but in an intentional way. This is also what makes it one of my favorites. I feel like this track comes at the perfect time, but because it is only four songs, even if this song doesn't intrigue you, the other three will keep you involved. And, it will keep you listening, until this track grows on you and you’re listening to the whole EP. What saves this song for me, other than the dark feel is the melody Gus sang. From the beginning of the song, his lyrics—which are always interesting and innovative—are driven by a very interesting and bleak sounding melody. From there the song changes between an interlude comprised of pads and strings. The interlude holds that same melancholy tone of “I’m Just Snacking,” but more dramatic and grows into this driving end, even the song itself grows into this brighter sounding close. Though, not too bright, it still has that piano strike from before and wobbly effects on the sustained notes that give it this wave edge between happy and sad.
The third track, “Gum, Toe and Sole,” is another fantastic song. The backup vocals used as a lead in the chorus was a great use of a 50’s influence that I usually don’t like. The lyrics, once again, are great, and his melody is dynamic and it keeps the song fresh throughout the entire piece. I am always surprised that the song is coming to an end, when the sustained synths ring out, and the fourth track is about to begin I always find myself a bit taken back that the song is over. Gus’ dynamic with the melody and the song, though not overwhelming is enough to make it seem too short. The only complaint I have of this particular song is: I would have loved to hear the sustained synths turn into a new part. I would have loved to see the dynamic continue. At the same time, it leads into the fourth and last track perfectly, and I can’t hate it for that reason.
The fourth track, “The Fool,” I must say is my favorite. It is a slow ballad, and also his most dynamic of all four tracks—at least it contends with “Miss Glum & The Pursuit of Falling.” I love the backup vocals, the 50’s influences—and 80’s influences of course—are utilized in a sparse intelligent manner. I usually don’t love backup vocals because the artist chooses to oversaturate the song with backups, but not Gus—and if he does, hats off. The chorus of this track is my favorite part of the entire EP. The chorus is also the same thing he uses in the video for Vogue. I loved this song even more after this video, much like “I’m Just Snacking,” but for different reasons. I loved this song after the video because he took this song and remixed it to start the pre-chorus with only his vocals. This sold me. I love when artists change their songs to fit different mediums. He also did this in the beginning of the “I’m Just Snacking” video, he added the beginning backup vocals of “Gum, Toe and Sole,” to the intro of the video.
This is the best part about Gus as an artist, because he feels like an artist, he adapts his mediums to fit other mediums. I read an article where he made a comment about how he wants to focus on making videos and I am so excited for what’s in store. I hope he sticks with Matthew Cohen for his director, that dude is magical behind the camera, especially when he’s working with someone like Gus, and it shows. I am excited for the music as well. I don't only want more, I need more.