The Observatory North Park got a one-two punch of a mini OVO tour with dvsn and Majid Jordan coming within a week of each other. First up was dvsn at the end of January. The duo is on tour in support of their sophomore record, Morning After, that was released in October 2017. Lead singer Daniel Daley was in top form, his smooth vocals riding the dark, sparse production via Nineteen85 (Paul Jefferies).
“Think About Me” landed on my best song list from 2017. The icy, emotional cadence of this hard-hitting breakup track entrances and drags you through the many stages of a regretful end of a close relationship. It’s passionate, heartbreaking, angry, earnest, and, above all, incredibly relatable to anyone that has gone through it.
To gift us an extra-special, bonus treat at the end of the song, Daley drifted into Usher’s R&B classic from 2001, “U Got It Bad” which seamlessly flowed into “Think About Me.” He ended the song in full a capella and, of course, everyone lost their minds. Daley went all in on the performance and made the overcrowded venue feel all of it.
Breaking my heart elsewhere that night was “Hallucinations.” Pulled from their debut, September 5th, “Hallucinations” may have come first but continued the story from aforementioned “Think About Me” in post-breakup phase of not being able to accept the loss of your partner. The lyrics are incredibly haunting and are punctuated further by Jeffries’ minimal production. At times, it recalls Usher’s “Burn” with a few of its sounds which is clearly a major influence for the duo proven by the mashup notated earlier.
It wasn’t all emotional turmoil that night. dvsn brought up the energy with banger and second single from their latest effort, “Don’t Choose.” This track features background vocals from fellow OVO label singer PARTYNEXTDOOR, in addition to a well-used interpolation of an Isaac Hayes sample. The brash and aggressive, “Run Away” was another highlight.
The concert was supported by visuals that gave the whole night a cinematic feel and raised the overall production value immensely. The clips varied between strange, looped clips of someone’s face, to short scenes that supported the oncoming song. It was a well-crafted evening and a great experience to see and hear the talented duo up close and in person.
You can find tracks from dvsn in many of our Core Programs, including Cashmere, Modern Soul, and Concrete Beats.
Pick up Morning After out now via OVO Sound (Warner) or, better yet, catch them on the Morning After World Tour, which includes a copy of the album with purchase!
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design