Photo: Harshvardhan Shah
Once genre-bending becomes a genre of its own, Isaac Dunbar will surely reign supreme over the territory. With a noted gift for songwriting and production that continually belie his age, we've been steadily hailing Dunbar's musical abilities for some time now. Today the young maestro shared his sophomore EP, isaac's insects, featuring "a ton of unreleased stuff."
Dunbar proclaimed that the EP is named in honor of his fans, whom he affectionately refers to as "insects." He also confessed that each of the seven tracks were made with his insects in mind, calling the EP an "accumulation of songs I’ve made over the past year for them."
The collection is simultaneously a little uplifting and a little emo, touching on themes of self-love, fame, and mental illness. The project leads off with "makeup drawer" and "comme des garçons (like the boys)," singles released earlier this year, heralded as self-acceptance anthems.
After this though, Dunbar flips the script, transitioning to an eerie tone in the titular track, setting a somber point of reflection for the rest of the EP. While "isaac's insects" bathes you in sound from left and right, courtesy of superb stereophonic production, it's easy to lose track of the lyrics. Over a creepily experimental beat, Dunbar divulges on the price of stardom. He chants "insects know my every move… and it scares me."
The next two tracks, "boy" and "scorton's creek," are a pair of melancholic love songs, one retrospective of an old relationship and one anticipatory of relationships to come. This leads into "suicide," which gently reveals the complexities of battling suicidal thoughts and reminders of the tragic toll it takes on loved ones when that battle is lost.
Dunbar closes with the almost operatic "colony." The track is a final reference to his dedicated insect family, concluding the EP with the words "bury me with the colony." Collectively, the seven songs are another alluring look inside the provocative young mind of Dunbar. He admits himself that he is particularly pleased with the outcome of isaac's insects, disclosing "they're my favorite songs i've put out so far."
Listen to isaac's insects below: