Photograph of Dijon, photo by Dijon, courtesy of Warner Records press kit

Creating raw, genre-bending projects isn’t new to Dijon. Prior to his album drop, the Maryland-born, LA-based artist used to be one half of the Maryland-based R&B duo Ahbi//Dijon. After parting ways, he released several singles and two EPs, including “Skin” and “Nico’s Red Truck”. These boosted him into many people’s artists-to-watch list, including myself, and he has been gaining a steady following of people that enjoy his music. Dijon has also managed to land himself impressive gigs for the next few years to come, including opening for Bon Iver’s 2022 North American Spring Tour and headlining a few shows (with a Nashville stop scheduled for April 29, 2022 at Third Man Records) for his own album.

Although his singles and EPs so far have been amazing, his debut album is truly where Dijon shines. Over the 31 minutes in Absolutely, Dijon sells us soulful anecdotes of heartbreak and healing by oscillating between tranquil ballads and punchy bops. Though the album doesn’t have what would normally be defined as a solid musical structure, this structurelessness does not come off as chaotic. Instead, every track feels like it was made in a cozy room with Dijon and a few of his friends (like his close pal and fellow artist, Mk.Gee).

To announce the release of his album on November 5, a live version of the opening track, “Big Mike’s,” was posted earlier on his social media platforms on October 13. Although the rawness did not carry over to the final cut, the dainty layers of guitar, keys, bass, and drums perfectly set the nonchalant tone of the album. The first two powerfully desperate tracks are followed by the lead single, “Many Times,” which ramps up the energy in a reflective and healing manner. Dijon wails “you can change your mind now, but you can’t change your decision,” and transitions perfectly into the next track, “Annie”—which almost feels like an extension of the former. The next three tracks, “Noah’s Highlight Reel,” “The Dress,” and “God in Wilson,” present an interesting blend of genres. Who would’ve thought that R&B, jazz, country, and shoegaze could all work together? Well, Dijon did. He was unafraid to portray the agony of not being able to move on through his shattery vocals and fervent lyrics in “Rodeo Clown.” Needless to say, if I were the person he was writing about, I would take that man back in an instant.

Throughout the half-hour journey, the album consistently blurs the line between unapologetic storytelling and supersonic masterpieces. Story-wise, the album tells a tale of his heartaches–– even when he is crestfallen, Dijon knows very well how to be charismatic. Sonically, Dijon’s vocal style usually is comparable to that of Frank Ocean and Smino. Although that still holds true in Absolutely, his divine murmurs also pull a little from Bon Iver, while the folk tunes are structurally similar to Lorde’s Solar Power.

After giving it several listens, here are my top three tracks that you definitely don’t want to miss out on: 

  1. Many Times
  2. Talk Down
  3. Rodeo Clown

Absolutely fall in love with Absolutely here: