Exclusive Premiere: Gregory Pepper, ‘Welcome to the Dullhouse’
Canadian singer-songwriter Gregory Pepper has a lot to say, but he typically doesn't need all that much time to say it. A proud child of the '90s who wears his influences on his flannel sleeve, Pepper has made a name for himself by embodying disparate genres with on theme-heavy albums filled with concise, punchy songs.
On the 2007 self-titled full-length by Gregory Pepper and his Problems, he moved effortlessly between baroque pop and outright polka; 2009's With Trumpets Flaring was heavily indebted to synth-pop; and 2012's Escape from Crystal Skull Mountain returned to a more longform and narrative approach. Throughout it all, though, Pepper has maintained an acerbic wit and self-deprecating sense of wordplay while paying faithful homage to the genres he touches on.
His upcoming album, Chorus! Chorus! Chorus!, is his briefest to date, but it's packed with powerful songs that barely break the one-minute mark – like the album opener "Welcome to the Dullhouse," which Diffuser is extremely proud to present. There's a distinct Weezer aura on the album and, when Pepper told us the story behind the song, he evoked the sensibilities of Rivers Cuomo
"As the title suggests, 'Welcome to the Dullhouse' serves as an invitation to both the album and the physical place where I live and make music," he said. "I'm perfectly content being a homebody and this tune celebrates the mundane aspects of that lifestyle: the familiarity of routine, the comfort of monogamy and what I would label the peacefulness that accompanies relative obscurity.
The brevity of the album also lends itself to the overarching concept – Pepper said Chorus! Chorus! Chorus! will be released on Aug. 21 via Fake Four Inc. as a 10-song 7". "Sonically, it the listener to a musical format that imbues the whole album," he said. "That is, concise and catchy power pop that fulfills the conventions of a proper 'song' without lingering or repeating itself unnecessarily. When I actually do leave my house, I'm always cautious about overstaying my welcome. At a lean 1:07, this tune says what it needs to say and then calls it a day."