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Call My Bluff - Isabel Dumaa | Review

Promising newcomer Isabel Dumaa is starshine in musical form, embodying the ‘musical dream’ as the young teen who leaves for the City of Angels in hopes of becoming a rock star. At only 18, the San Francisco native is crafting her astounding debut into the world of pop stardom, commencing with her debut single Call My Bluff.

Since childhood, Dumaa has believed she was destined for the glittering life of a rockstar, confidently stating these sentiments to anyone who questioned her seemingly enormous dreams. Having written her own songs since the age of 11, Isabel knew she would be doing herself a disservice if she didn’t follow her life-long passions. Immediately after graduating high school, the multi-talented artist packed up her life in pursuit of her LA dream.

Marking the beginning of her career, Dumaa’s debut Call My Bluff is earnestly candid, dealing with the anxiety of imposter syndrome and the feeling of worthlessness. She explains the genesis of her introduction, stating “I write in cursive 'cause it makes me feel smarter,’ came to me one day after leaving school. I had to hand-write part of an essay, and I did so in cursive. I asked myself why I chose to write in cursive and looking at the writing, I realized it gave me a sense of distinctiveness and individuality, regardless of the words I put down.”

In how this simple experience outlined something more complex, Dumma discloses “ Later that year, I moved to LA and found myself experiencing feelings of inferiority and doubt. Yet, I found myself doing little things or putting up different facades that would make me feel better about myself, or at least appear so. I wanted to write a song that encapsulated that feeling, and conquering it.”

Evoking the kaleidoscopic bubbliness of today’s pop scene, the song begins melodically bright with a slight edge of alternative cool. Its production style and aesthetic make it a fitting choice for any wayward 20 year old questioning the meaning of their lived existence. Dumaa has a rich maturity in her voice that she controls with a radiant inclination, she has a way of vocalizing her frustrations through remarkably subtle pop inflections. The quirky lyricism is reminiscent of a niche era of pop music; specifically 2010s pop, when young artists earnestly wrote about the aggravating, but liberating moments of adulthood.

For a debut, Dumaa has an overwhelming presence in her chic style– a quality that has quickly propelled other pop stars such as Harry Styles to widespread fame, as well as earning Dumaa her first sold out show at The Roxy. Call My Bluff is a rejuvenating tonic for a new era of pop culture, returning to the hedonism of what it means to be young.

By Cassidy Copenheaver

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