Isaac Dunbar’s evil twin EP is a dichotomous reflection of his own inner monologue, and that of an “evil twin”. The 17-year-old hyperpop wunderkind is a new-aged pop star, one who hails from Cape Cod, has to make cross-country flights to Los Angeles recording studios, and develop his own unique brand while still finding time to complete daily high school homework assignments.
Dunbar is an artist that thrives on collaborating with others, and the connection he makes with his fans. His 2019 debut EP, “balloons don’t float here” but him on the charts, and had him supporting girl in red on tour. After the successful release, he was picked up by RCA Records, and was set about to start his own U.S./Europe tour when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Released on February 19, 2021, his new EP evil twin is out via RCA Records.
“The whole evil twin concept is about my inner struggles during the process of making it,” Dunbar shared about the project in an exclusive interview with EARMILK. “I wanted to make it strictly an experimental record that is more music that I listen to more on a daily basis as opposed to pop music. I found this really happy medium.”
While his music is pop-based, his influences on this EP have expanded into new areas. According to Dunbar, he is currently listening to artists like Björk, Cocteau Twins, and Slowdive. “This whole EP, I did not listen to a single ounce of pop music,” he said. “ I love shoegaze and alternative rock right now; all of these bands from the '90s have really been like, even like assisting in my brand and how I present myself as an artist. I've just been changing a lot, and those have been my main influences.”
“The whole evil twin concept is about duality and polarity,” he said. Dunbar stresses the duality in life, especially in his own personal experiences, and presents it by changing lyrical stylings during the first and second half of the record.
“The first half of the EP is my evil twin singing, and then the second half of that is normal Isaac singing,” he said. Songs like “pink party” are raw and aggressive, and could easily be club hits once the clubs open back up. “fan behavior” and “rendevouz” are dark, glamorous, and entrancing. Each track has its own identity, but fits into the cohesive aesthetic of Isaac Dunbar. “It's just a very public display of my conflictions in regards to my artistry, and my ego, and pride. So I just decided to put those two halves of me into one record, and that’s evil twin.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dunbar says he has been on a personal self-improvement journey, learning about himself and his place in the world, amidst the struggle of depression and anxiety. “There's a balance in every single thing, in regards to things like depression, and anxiety,” he said. “There is good and bad, and energy is constantly changing stuff. I just want people to see that things aren't always black and white.”
According to Dunbar, the pandemic has changed everything about his life, from the way he produces music, to how is able to connect with his fans. He spends most of his time in his bedroom working on beats on his Macbook, and sending it to producers far away because they can’t meet in person. He says not being able to see and connect with his fans on a personal basis is the hardest.
Born into the age of social media, Isaac Dunbar is an artist that has mastery of all different platforms, and uses them to their advantage to promote his own brand, and connect with his fans. “I love [my fans] so much, literally, without them I would be nothing,” Dunbar said. “Not being able to see them on tour has been hard. But what really inspires me is seeing them like, for example, on Instagram Live, and I like to look at their accounts because I want to know who's listening to my music, I just think it's so important for the artist to be in touch with the people that got the artists, where they are.”
At 17-years-old, he’s an artist who has made a big impact on people’s lives while still being a young professional. He gets great satisfaction through seeing the effect his music has on people. “[On tour] I got to see their faces and see all their sadness, when I was singing on stage, to be released and like when they cry, oh my gosh, that's so inspiring,” he said. “For me, being able to see all these emotions that are bottled up inside of them being released, due to my music, I think that's really cool.”
The evil twin EP is a defiant pop record, with a dark energy that brings some great new feelings into the genre. Isaac Dunbar is a new-aged hitmaker that is grounded in reality. He is young, ambitious, and has the momentum behind him to be successful for quite some time.