Known as a transient bandmember, session musician, and touring sideman for a number of indie and folk outfits, mostly in his home base of Portland, Oregon, multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper also writes and records his own solo material. He's played with artists ranging from Ray LaMontagne to Robyn Hitchcock, Menomena and Fruit Bats, and became a member of Death Cab for Cutie in 2014.
Depper's earlier work included playing bass in the Brit-pop-inspired group the Village Green, who put out a self-titled EP in 2005 and the full-length Feeling the Fall in 2006 before Depper quit the band. Over the next five years, he built a long résumé that included appearances on albums by Americana singer/songwriters Jeff London and Laura Gibson, playing bass for White Hinterland, and acting as multi-instrumentalist for Loch Lomond. In 2011, Jackpot Records released his solo effort, The Ram Project, a reconstruction of Paul McCartney's 1971 masterpiece, Ram.
As a short-term member of the alternative country-rock group Quiet Life, Depper contributed to their 2013 album Wild Pack, and in 2014, he toured as a member of Ray LaMontagne's backing band. That same year, he accepted an invitation to join the lineup of Death Cab for Cutie as multi-instrumentalist, replacing founding member Chris Walla. While touring in 2015 (specifically, two days after the Bataclan attacks in Paris), he recorded an EP called Utrecht Suite, made entirely of solo guitar improvisations using a loop pedal. During this stretch of the mid-2010s, he also played studio sessions for artists such as Crystal Bowersox, Musée Mécanique, Lost Lander, and Søren Juul. While most often tapped as a bassist, his credits also include guitar and various keyboard instruments, including synths. For Laura Gibson's 2016 LP Empire Builder, Depper provided multiple instruments, additional production, and loops.
His first official solo album of original songs arrived via Tender Loving Empire in 2017. Five years in the making, Emotional Freedom Technique offered an intimate version of synth pop informed by the isolation of life on the road. It featured a duet with Gibson, while, with the exception of some backing vocals, Depper covered the rest of the performances himself. ~ Marcy Donelson