Editors’ Notes The term “bedroom pop” has become synonymous with nearly any sort of scrappy, tuneful DIY recording, but Isaac Dunbar takes the term to heart. He spent much of his sophomore year of high school crafting and recording this debut EP in his Cape Cod bedroom after teaching himself how via YouTube tutorials. “I guess I subconsciously might associate my bedroom with being like a safe place or something,” Dunbar tells Apple Music. “It's where I can come up with any sort of idea unfiltered or feel like I'm being judged. And that's where I can be myself the most.” Over eight tracks of moody and melodic pop, Dunbar is wise beyond his years, and here are the stories behind each song, in his own words. “I did a lot of this while I was in school dealing with stupid kids and stupid tests and stupid grades and stupid teachers, and I'm just so proud of how this came out.”

“I honestly have no idea what inspired that song. I just knew that at that point in my life I was going through stuff where I was doing something that I knew was not good for me, but I kept going back to it. A pharmacy is a place that people would go to find temporary joy in something, but then the side effects would kick in afterwards. At that point in time I had like maybe a hundred followers on SoundCloud—they were really the only people hearing it. My friends sometimes listened to it, some kids in school, but that was the song that was kind of the gateway.”

“woman on the hills”
“I made that song in January 2018, so it was after ‘pharmacy.’ I remember I was listening to a lot of disco music at that time and I was just so inspired by winter—that song reminds me of winter and darkness and stuff. I came up with the concept in seventh grade: What is the price of fame? The woman on the hills is a metaphor for Hollywood in a sense—someone who might want to change you for their own benefit. For me it kind of has to do with the music industry, but it can apply to you. Like if you're in a friend group, they might tell you to dress this way, do this because I want to get more popular or something.”

“‘blonde’ was one of the first songs that I made for the EP as well. I made it in February 2018 during one of my first studio sessions ever with this guy named Zach Seamen and this guy named Roger Kleinman. I wasn't really happy with how it sounded that day. I took some of the stems and recorded all the vocals back at home and transformed it into what it is now. And it's kind of more of like an upbeat club banger. All the best songs come from my bedroom.”

“This song was not started in my bedroom, but in my dad's office downstairs, right below my bedroom. It was written as a gift, actually, for my friend's sister, who was in an abusive relationship. And so this comes from the perspective of the person that's being abused, sort of like taunting the abuse and showing they're above whatever torment they are going through. It's about finally realizing you're in an abusive relationship and being empowered to get up and get out of the situation you don't need to be in.”

“I love ‘ferrari.’ This was started in February 2019, so a couple months ago, written in LA with my friend Rory Adams and produced by Drew Pearson. I came to Drew's home studio and had a video of me playing piano to the first verse. I had no intention of making it sort of like a punk type of feel. But it just naturally came like that.”

“At the time last summer, I was going through a point where I was salty because this person didn't like me, so I wrote a very jealous song and it came out so good.”

“diamonds are a girl’s best friend”
“This is my favorite song on the EP. I've loved it since the day that I made it. It's about this girl I used to be friends with—she was very rich. I wore more expensive clothes I couldn't afford, and it's just about me realizing that I don't have to do that in order to find a good friend. I am so proud of it, and it's the only song that I will ever brag about because I think it's that good. It's very ethereal and what my music is going to sound more like as I mature. It's a good foreshadowing, in a way.”

“blueberry brows”
“I was at my sister's house in Arizona with my mom, and I wrote it outside on her porch at like four in the morning because my sleeping schedule was so wack because of the time change. It's a really personal song; I don't really want to go too in-depth with the lyrics because it's a long story. At one point I was not even going to release it—I thought it was trash. But then I played around with it a couple of weeks ago and it became one of my favorites and it just felt perfect. It felt like the last page of the story.”

woman on the hills
diamonds are a girl's best friend
blueberry brows

Music Videos

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    Isaac Dunbar
  • ferrari
    Isaac Dunbar
  • mime
    Isaac Dunbar

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