dvsn gives new meaning to the term “bedroom producer.”
Alright, so they may not actually produce in the bedroom (they’re actually signed to OVO Sounds, Drake’s label), but the R&B duo is a staple for a night in, long drive, rainy day, or really any “mood” playlist. Comprised of vocalist Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85, the Canadian duo is back with a second album that we’ve had on repeat since its Friday release. The new album, Morning After, continues to build on dvsn’s signature bedroom sound that was established with their debut album while still expanding their artistry. The sensual record has an atmosphere of intimacy that connects intrinsically with our experiences, allowing listeners to deeply lean in.
The duo began to heighten anticipation for their sophomore album with the release of four singles leading up to the album, “Think About Me,” “Don’t Choose,” “Mood,” and “P.O.V.” They also released a series of teaser videos on their YouTube. Anticipation was so great for the album that the four tracks have collectively been streamed about 22 million times. The numbers may be impressive, but they make sense upon listening to the album in its entirety. Some of the tracks in Morning After flow seamlessly into the next, as with “Nuh Time/Take Time” and “Keep Calm.” While that’s always a cool touch to an album, Morning After stretches beyond. It establishes an overall sonic environment that is diverse yet utterly complete in its theme, sound, and lyrical content. It demonstrates true mastery of the art that can be hard to come by.
The title track, “Morning After,” may not be the first on the album, but it certainly sets the album apart as a new venture for dvsn. It’s immediately differentiated by the introductory sounds of an acoustic guitar, and the prominent piano is quite a departure. The track is slightly upbeat, funky, and has a bit of a reggae vibe to it in the chorus. Nevertheless, it’s still a classic dvsn song; Daley tells his lover that his feelings for her aren’t just alcohol induced, asking her “what it’s gonna take to make you stay.”
Perhaps the epitome of the dvsn sound, “P.O.V.” draws on classic R&B sounds while establishing dvsn’s individuality. The track samples “Fortunate” by Maxwell, opening with a very similar vocal riff and the sampled vocals. The song is incredibly suggestive, sensuality in its rawest form. With sharp snares, precise high hats, and a resounding bass, “P.O.V.” embodies what dvsn is fundamentally.
Yet while these two songs may just be what you would think of a love song, Morning After covers multiple aspects of love—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The album’s first track, “Run Away,” touches on a darker side of love. Daley’s vocals are a little more pained than usual, leading into a falsetto that lends to the song’s difficult nature. “Run away, I’m not good for you,” Daley advises. “Run and find somebody better.” It’s selfless, but it’s sad.
“Run Away” leads into “Nuh Time/Tek Time,” two songs that similarly touch on uncertainty and doubt in what may be unreciprocated love. Daley’s vocals build as he sings, “I know you say that/People make time for/Shit that they want, well/It’s not that I don’t want you/It’s that you want more/From me.” “Nuh Time” closes with the voicemail recording of a girl complaining about how her lover only sends short responses, as if he doesn’t really care. Whether we were Daley or his lover in this relationship, we’ve probably all been in this situation.
Not everything is black and white though, and there are often in between feelings that are quite bittersweet. dvsn captures these emotions as well in “Think About Me.” The song is a bit slower, the bass is a little heavier, and the vocals are drawn out a tad longer. Daley sings about a past lover whom he probably can’t be friends with again, but he knows that she still thinks about him. He’s the best she’s ever had, and her future won’t live up to the past.
dvsn is labelmates with the likes of Majid Jordan and PARTYNEXTDOOR under OVO Sound, Drake’s record label. In fact, the duo opened for Drake and Future on the Summer Sixteen Tour and was also featured on Views in “Faithful.” They released their debut singles and album under OVO, dropping “The Line” and “With Me” on Sept. 5, 2015. They proceeded to release “Hallucinations” and “Too Deep” until finally dropping their debut album, SEPT 5, in early 2016. SEPT 5 was a critical success and is just shy of 200 million collective streams on Spotify, let alone what that number may be with the new addition of Morning After.
Stream the album below: