Dijon has One New Project, One Question: 'How Do You Feel About Getting Married?'
Evan Dale // May 15, 2020
There is almost nothing that can be expected with any new release from Dijon. The Baltimore – LA songwriter, vocalist, instrumentalist, and producer, is an enigma of emotion and musicality that only ever boils down to at least one or two sure elements: brash experimentation and emotional evocation. Then again, what else is there that can ever be wished for from new music from any true musician? With his first release since 2019’s CRYBABY and his first project since 2019’s Sci Fi 1, Dijon once again proves his unpredictability and raw emotional prowess with How Do You Feel About Getting Married? (HDYFAGM).
Through six mostly short tracks – through 15 time-defying minutes – Dijon organizes another pure exploration of his own musical tenets, the artistic inspirations of which are as wide-ranging as his personal influences emerge downright poetic. The thing about Dijon, at least heard through Sci Fi 1 and now HDYFAGM, is that both EP’s (thus far his only two projects as a solo artist removed from his collaborative work as half of Abhi // Dijon) coalesce together texturally, thematically, and poetically as one run-on composition. Rooted in and tethered end-to-end by a playful guitar, a meandering flow of distressed and distorted vocal play coalescing with that of his naturally elevated pitch, and vivid landscapes painted by the poeticism in his pen, HDYFAGM is a necessary addition to Dijon’s already vulnerable and musically individualistic solo canon.
He’s a romantic, and his music bleeds of painful affairs with love. The title alone isn’t even the peak romanticism he explores with How Do You Feel About Getting Married? Instead, his purest romantic exultations are felt first through his lyrics and second through how it is he conveys them. Or rather, how he croons them.
From the moment do you light up? opens the project, it’s clear just how opaque and mysterious his entirely self-created sound will continue to be for the remainder of the project. And it’s clearer still that he’s altogether too poetic to be clear at all with any outward thoughts of his own. Instead, his first connections to a listener are purely emotional. The word he writes; the lyrics he sings are nothing if not impressionistic, projected upon with meaning of a listener’s own experiences and emotional breadth. And for that ability to connect – to build a pedestal on which an audience can build their own meaning – Dijon is a genius of some pretty spectacular Neo-Soul company.
But, his music ensures that he cannot be contained in a box so easily. Rather, his music ensures he can’t be contained in a box at all. He’s been called many things: R&B, Neo-Soul, Bedroom Pop, Folk, Acoustic, he even feels like Spoken Word or Hip-Hop at the tail end of Nico’s Red Truck, but the truth remains the Dijon doesn’t belong to any of those boundaries. He makes music any fan of those scenes (or of any scene, really) can enjoy, but through a project like HDYFAGM, Dijon is first and foremost a member of his own emotional spectrum and subsequent musical school. It’s one driven by something intangible and indescribable. He’s a frustrating artist to write about or to attempt to delineate. And that’s what makes him so good. He’s raw, humanistic, and individualistically true through his musical tendencies. And that’s astonishingly rare in the modern cloth.
It’s nearly impossible for anyone to put into words what it is that makes Dijon so special, and yet it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t connect to his music at a deep level, if given him the chance.
His music feels like experiences. It breathes of the warmth in memories. It speaks about beautiful, normal things – lakes, cars, seasons, weather – in the same way the best poets and best writers relate to the sensitivities that all of us share as human beings. And for that – in another attempt to not box him in – Dijon is a masterful folk musician.
But again, he’s not. Dijon is simply Dijon. We’re all simply human. And that’s why the alien uniqueness of his sound (and the alien hand in his album artwork) relate to us, without fail. How Do You Feel About Getting Married? is another project from Dijon sure to soundtrack human moments. And that’s the true beauty in its aesthetic.