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Morning After
(OVO Sound/Warner Bros.)

The last time a man crooned that he was bad news and that his lover ought to flee, Kanye West was detangling his break-up with Amber Rose and dvsn had not yet been founded. Seven years later, the Canadian R&B duo, comprised of singer Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85, re-assert this portent in the first track of their pulsating new album, Morning After. “Run away, I'm no good for you,” Daley insists on the ominous song. Replete with a thundering bass, strings, keys, and a choir, it serves as a prelude and thesis for the rest of the album. While their debut Sept. 5th encapsulated the thrill and intoxication of sex, Morning After grapples with love, frustration, and other emotional consequences of intimacy.

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“Think About Me” ruminates on a relationship at its end, where friendship is out of the question, but where nothing in the future is expected to compare to the highs of its past. The pliability of Daley’s voice effectively renders this conflict. It rises, falls, transforms from whisper into yelping, all before melting into the background synths. The result is stupefying. In other tracks, like “Conversations in a Diner” and “Keep Calm,” this combination of mechanics and message work together similarly well. Another highlight, “POV,” is buzzy, explicit, and magnetic, pulling you in as you strain to hear the suggestions uttered.

Morning After more than lives up to expectations—and it also pushes genre boundaries. Title track is a cheerful, tropically breezy tune, leavening the generally morose album. The production of “Don’t Choose” could easily fit on any contemporary trap song. Other times, though, dvsn fumble. “Nuh Time / Tek Time” is an exasperated response to a woman who wants to spend more time with her lover. Of course—no album released by Drake’s OVO Sound label is complete without a track that eye-rolls at how demanding women are.

Dvsn were unknown before they released their debut album last year. Lyrically and sonically, however, the duo have rapidly settled into a comfortable place among their R&B contemporaries—not as PG-rated as Daniel Caesar yet not as hedonistic as early-career Weeknd. On Morning After, dvsn continue to indulge in the expansive and amorous space between.

Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival returns October 16 through November 8
The all-digital festival features one-of-a-kind performances and panels streamed straight to you.