Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sky Box Sounds vol. 27 | Sept 5th - dvsn

Artist: dvsn
Album: Sept 5th (2016)

Canadian R&B duo, dvsn, recently released their debut album, SEPT 5TH rather mysteriously. Composed of singer, Daniel Daley and producer, Paul Jefferies (professionally known as Nineteen85) this group is making a silent, yet remarkable impression on the hearts of music lovers. Still a relatively new act, they definitely have what it takes to gain world wide recognition. Despite having close ties to prominent names in the music industry, specifically rapper/producer, Drake, there's not really much information out there about them-no photos, interviews, or press releases-and it isn't an apparent eagerness for the fame either, at least from what I can see. PitchFork editor, Ryan Dombal, pointed out a statement made by music critic, Ben Ratliff, made in his book, Every Song Ever that helps me make sense of the group's state of elusiveness:
"In art, the confident gesture, loud or quiet, is of highest importance. By extension, the acknowledgement of the human behind it… is secondary, if relevant at all." 
With that being said, the mystery of their approach may be the best thing they have going for themselves. That kind of indifference forces the audience to focus more on the art than the celebrity, which is something I can respect.

There's a consistency in the movement of this album; the transitions between each track are flawless and the sound is alluring and seductive throughout. The combination of synthetic and live instrumentation plays really well with Daniel's light falsetto vocals and the samples/references are barely noticeable. It was interesting to notice things the average listener wouldn't necessarily expect to hear on an R&B song, such as the subtle, very short snippet of Elliot Smith's 1997 classic Angeles on the latter part of Angela or sampling of The Way U Do by electronic musician, Shlohmo, on the opening track With You.

Sonically and lyrically, I would describe it as the perfect record to create ambiance, whether it's intended for something sexual, romantic, or a well-balanced mix of both. The story line itself sounds like a reflective narrative of someone going from infatuation to falling in love and the stages of emotion that person experiences in between the two. I love how it's able to highlight the positive and significance elements of love, sex, and affairs of the heart without drifting into the realm of what contemporary R&B has become. Honest, vulnerable, sweet, this is by far one of the best albums to drop so far this year.

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