By Jamie McNamara
Twenty-seven-year-old Oliver Perry lives a relatively simple life in Castlemaine, Australia. He lives in a small shed attached to some horse stables, an idyllic rural lifestyle that Perry uses to make his auteurist pop music as D.D Dumbo. His self-recorded EP, 2013’s Tropical Oceans, is a looping, lo-fi adventure into the head of a musically-meditative madman. Utopia Defeated, D.D Dumbo’s debut album for 4AD, continues that trend, but strips away the lo-fi and pushes it into a professional studio. The result is a wild, whimsical trip into the mind of one of indie music’s most underrated songwriters.
Dumbo uses a 12-string guitar, and instruments from around the world, to create a rich textural background for each of his creations to chug along within. Album opener “Walrus,” is a head-bopping pop tune akin to a subdued Vampire Weekend. Dumbo’s voice is restlessly expressive, always searching for groove amongst the kinetic rhythm. The funky, imaginative “Satan” is further proof of this, showing off Dumbo’s confident tenor that can reach into falsetto with unpredictable ease. Overall, Utopia Defeated is a rhythmically dense debut that marks Dumbo as a major talent to follow both now, and hopefully well into the future.D.D Dumbo, Utopia Defeated