Foundations: Isaac Dunbar

Prodigal pop talent on his formative music experiences...

Isaac Dunbar is staggeringly, jaw-droppingly young.

Still only 16 years old, he started making music before his 10th birthday, patching together electronics tones and a wholly natural pop nous.

Starting to soar, a flurry of vital releases have sketched out a road map for this phenomenal talent.

With his new EP out now, Clash caught up with Isaac Dunbar to discuss his formative music experiences in Foundations – the album that really, truly mattered…

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Porter Robinson – 'Worlds'

When I first starting music when I was nine, I made solely EDM music. This album came out when I was in sixth grade and it completely changed my perspective on electronic music.

This album helped me discover the beauty within synthetic music. The opening track, 'Divinity', is one of the reasons why I make the music I do. So many layers and melting synths.

My favorite tracks are 'Fellow Feeling', 'Goodbye To A World', and 'Divinity'.

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Tamino – 'Amir'

This fucking album. I discovered it in history class in November 2018 and it has been one of the soundtracks of my life since then.

The whole record is stunning from top to bottom. His sonic choices and lyricism is breathtaking. 'Amir' features this stunning orchestra in most of the tracks which has inspired a lot of my current stuff I’m working on now. My favorites off this record are 'Verses', 'Every Pore', and 'Indigo Night'.

Listen to this album, please.

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Lady Gaga – 'ARTPOP'

OK, so I’ve been a huge Gaga stan since I was five. 'ARTPOP' is the reason why I started making music.

At the time in 2013, Gaga announced the album via Twitter and the producers she was working with. One of the producers was Madeon, he makes really beautiful electronic music. I checked him out and got obsessed. I was so inspired that day that I went to my local Barnes and Noble to illegally download the music production program he used, FL Studio 10 (at the time).

Anyways, this album is pop perfection and it was released so ahead of its time. The way I learned how to make music was by re-producing the songs on the album, I learned synthesis because I had to emulate the complex synths used in Gaga’s songs on this record.

My favourite songs are 'Venus', 'Mary Jane Holland', 'Aura', and 'Donatella'.

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Kings Of Convenience – 'Quiet Is The New Loud'

Iconic, legendary, brilliant, show-stopping, never done before, totally unique, genius, divine. This album is nurturing to me.

I recently discovered it on Spotify in winter 2019 and it was the soundtrack to how I felt at that time. I was struggling with some issues at home and I turned to this record for comfort.

'Parallel Lines' and 'Winning A Battle, Losing The War' are my favorites.

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AURORA – 'All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend'

I discovered this record in 2016 when I was in eighth grade and it completely changed my perspective on pop music. It was almost like combining elements of avant-garde electronic music that I loved from Porter Robinson and then mixing it with the pop that I loved with like, a touch of ambient? I just remember going insane and freaking out when I heard 'Runaway'.

AURORA is one of the reasons why I write the music that I do. I would describe her sound as introspective pop. My favorites off this are 'I Went Too Far', 'Runaway', 'Through The Eyes Of A Child' and 'Home'.

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Isaac Dunbar's new EP is out now.

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