Label: XL Recordings
Dillon Van Resunburg, dvr , is a 17 year old singer, songwriter and producer from North Berwick, Scotland. His talent as a young artist has allowed him to accumulate millions of streams and propel him into be one of the UK’s most exciting upcoming indie artists. With credible artists such as Snoop Dog and Kenny Beats singing his praises, dvr’s most recent EP ‘Dirty Tapes’ gives us more insight into this musical prodigy as we explore themes of relationships, drugs and self-deprecation.
The first song in the album helps set the tone of the EP. With a lo-fidelity vibe throughout the entirety of the song accompanied by double-tracked, hard panned vocals in the chorus, dvr invites the listener successfully into his relationship. Glimpses of dvr’s talent can be heard within this opening track as he expresses his struggles in impressing a girl (we’ve all been there) by trying to play guitar even though he ‘can’t really play guitar.’ The relatability in the EP-titled track helps give us commonality with dvr and intrigues us to want to listen on.
One of the strongest tracks in the EP is the self-deprecating sounds of second track ‘Stupid’. Once again, the relatability in ‘Stupid’ is immense. with a simple guitar riff introducing the track and dvr’s lyrical talent, the development of stupid is refreshing to hear as the song gets fuller over time. My favourite part of the song is the contrasting upper harmony of the guitar in comparison the rest of the track which provides me with a delightful taste of ear candy, allowing me to fully immerse into the song and slowly sway stupidly. The song maybe called ‘stupid’ but the production of the song is definitely clever.
With over 500,000 streams as of January 2022 ‘Lowlife’ is the most successful track on the EP and that exposure is well deserved. Teaming up with Kenny Beats, a master at creating fully immersive Alternative/Indie tracks, (‘Phone Numbers’ with Dominic Fike being my personal favourite) ‘Lowlife’ doesn’t fall short of his deserved praises of innovating indie music and alternative music respectfully. This is the best produced song on EP as Kenny Beats production wizardry paired with the promising dvr’s lyricism equates to an immense track that my Spotify is probably tired of spewing out on repeat all day.
Following a track as well done as ‘Lowlife’ can be intimidating however ‘drugs’ stands tall as a solid track itself. The Grittiness of the guitar in a more stripped back setting provides a rawer feel and dvr’s vocals in this darker toned track punch through a lot harder than in the previous tracks. I love the draw back midway through the song which helps build up the anticipation of the explosive ending and double tracked vocals, almost as if the drugs have taken a hold of dvr one last time as he lets one last blaring vocal line.
‘Tunnel Vision’ helps round off the EP as almost a full circle moment. We’ve went through all these emotions within the EP and the final track of the EP reflects well on the entirety of the EP. Merging ideas from previous tracks together helps conclude the EP nicely and provides us with a unique track in itself. Although, in my opinion, not a strong stand alone track, without its inclusion, the whole EP would not be as strong.
My only worry with dvr is repetitiveness. As seen with artists such as Blackbear, the fixation on generalised singing about drugs, girls and self-deprecation can grow tiresome quickly. Nonetheless, dvr encapsulates the struggles of teenage angst in dirty tapes successfully and at just 17 years old is a promising star you should probably keep your eye on. His ability to relate to his audience is impeccable and my advice for his future work is to allow us in even more. With vulnerability comes relatability and a listener, that’s what I look out for. I’m excited to see his growth as an artist with so much promise.