‘Where Polly People Go to Read,’ the Surreal and Personal Debut Album from Gus Dapperton

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New York’s Gus Dapperton is an artist in a world all his own, and it is a world he lets us explore in deeply personal detail in his debut album, Where Polly People Go to Read. Viewing the world through a kaleidoscopic array of sonics, ranging from ‘60s soft-rock to modern R&B, Dapperton’s long-awaited debut album arrives as more than just a wholly impressive, at times spellbinding collections of songs; it arrives as an intimate account of one of indie pop’s new stars.

While Where Polly People Go to Read jumps from nebulous genre inclination to inclination at a moment’s notice in its ten-track run, there is a meticulous sense of order here, as we find ourselves immersed in Dapperton’s emotional highs and lows. Scoring a year of the New York artist’s life, Where Polly People Go to Read plays out in the chronological order it was written, moving from an unhealthy relationship falling apart to finding the magic in love once again. It is a poignant, astounding musical vision for an artist who in many ways blurs the line between self-parody and taking his art serious to a calculated degree.

The sentimentality of Dapperton’s debut pours out in spades, but at no point does it ever feel like he has lost the infectious R&B-driven groove that makes tracks like “Eyes for Ellis” and the previously released “Fill Me Up Anthem” feel so anthemic in nature. Rather, much like the wide genre brushstrokes Dapperton has used up to this point to craft his idiosyncratic sound, a sense of unrelenting candidness arrives as just another tool in the indie pop purveyor’s ever-growing musical repertoire. Dapperton spoke on transposing a year of his life into music, sharing,

“It captures the whole last year of my life. The first four songs are the demise of a relationship and heartbreak. By the time the fifth song starts, it’s experiencing love once more. It ends on this harsh reality. It was happening presently in my life, so each song was written in chronological order. I fell out of an unhealthy relationship and then fell in love again. It was super magical when it was all brand new. However, I eventually embraced the sad truth love is not so easy in general for anyone.”

Listen to Where Polly People Go to Read below:

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