On Abhi//Dijon’s soundcloud “lets make sweet tender red vino-love” is hilariously enough among the first comments you see directed toward the Baltimore duo’s new track “Jon B,” the second single off the group’s upcoming mixtape Stay Up. Upon listening to the song, a comment like that proves itself to be apt at the bare minimum. Smooth probably isn’t even a good enough word to describe the song. The track feels like butter being churned on the other side of space. There’s a straight undeniable slickness to this instrumental, drawing the early 90’s R ‘n’ B canon as well as the more contemporary ethereal goodness associated with a lot of the Soundcloud producers you’re hearing right now. The light sometimes improvisatory electric piano treat the bassline’s staccato groove, before an breathy guitar solo plays the whole thing out.
A lot of the R ‘n’ B that influences a track like this, and one can suppose a lot of pop music in general, is hook driven. Those hooks too often can start to feel cheesy or predictable, but the duo manages to exercise the hook on “Jon B” in a way that’s really opposite gratuity. Rather than work that ok here it comes the part where I sing along moment, Abhi//Dijon craft a song in which the hook just sort of rolls in. When it hits you hear, “I just drove by your block and it reminds me/ That there’s folks past midnight, I say at Jon B, hoping that they don’t wake up.” There’s something so visceral about the way the vocals glide over the beat combined with the story being told. It entertains the space in the mind that pines for things not to feel staged. The lack of lyrical and melodic theatrics lets the song breathe and come off as genuine.
Stay Up is due out this fall. “Jon B” is streaming below: