Gus Dapperton has always been obsessed with building new worlds. It’s been part of his passion since he started making songs in Garageband, a creator’s mindset that eventually shaped two independent albums of defiantly original alt-pop. Now signed to Warner Records, Dapperton goes even further on his new project, Henge, immersing himself in bold details and immersive songwriting to conjure a twilight world that permanently hovers between sunset and sunrise throughout 11 mercurial songs.
“Manhattanhenge happens in New York when the sun lines up perfectly between the buildings and it looks like a solstice,” the artist-producer says of his cryptic album title. “I came up with the concept about someone entering this underworld as the sun goes down and trying to get home before dawn — or risk being stuck in a time loop.” The push and pull between nighttime revelry and sun-dappled safety resonates with Dapperton in post-pandemic America.
“A lot of my life after COVID is just trying to embrace the world again,” the 26-year-old says. “I was always an introvert, but now I get an adrenaline rush from being around people.” While there is a distinct thematic throughline, Dapperton wants listeners to go on their own journeys. “I write songs that can be taken out of context and enjoyed individually, but there’s a story you could follow if you wanted to.”
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