WORDS BY JACQUELINE SHARAH
Solo creator DVNA shoots her new Neo-soul EP ‘All My Friends’ straight into our feels. It’s a true testament to her talent and creative potential. Filled with disco tracks for a killer groove, it’s bound to leave you boogy-ing for hours. A cake baked with careful selections of genres to suit your dance craving tastebuds. Ingredients including: electronica, funk, lofi jazz, and new age soul. It’s a fusion of flavours and all inclusive (so even the gluten free can taste!)
Baked exclusively within her own bedroom, it allows the album to push boundaries, explore creativity and write without limit: fierce, bold and yet tender. Written, produced and recorded on her own the gold coast creative takes full control inspired by Tom Misch, Anderson Paak and Syd. It’s a face blushing yet tear jerking album of the ever so highs and brain fuzzing lows of love. But how? You must give it a listen to find out, but if that doesn’t convince you, read on!
Listening to the album, I tried to relate it to a food. A food? Yes a food. Specifically; Marshmallows! Now I know what you’re thinking; umm… How can a song be related to a marshmallow? Let me explain. It’s baselines are bouncy like the texture of a marshmallow. Sweet lyrical vocals of youthful energy remind me of the candies sugary flavours. Completed by a powdered outside which sticks to your fingers like the funky tunes which got stuck in my head all day (warning!).
The album is undoubtably well structured and written. Her soulful, jazzy pop blend is a mood lifting remedy even when she talks about darker themes. It takes you on a positive journey of self-discovery as we experience alongside her; first love. The second track on the EP ‘Sushi in Tokyo’ opens the album with a giggly buzz. It’s a tribute to young love, and experiencing “brand new feelings I’ve never felt before” which will make you get up and dance no matter what mood you’re in.
Followed by ‘When I’m Your Girl’ it’s a softer tone, of more simplistic beats allowing you to focus on the lyrics. It’s raw and honest. She explains quite beautifully the bittersweet feeling of the end of a relationship, during the period when your brain hasn’t fully processed the fact that you’re becoming single again.
Following ‘Half Past Sober; the subject takes a darker shift yet beat maintains its rhythm and funk. Things get real. As a listener, I felt like I was brought even closer to her experience as she explains the complexities of realising, she’s jaded in her relationship. Loosing friends and getting caught up in being “f*cked over” by her love interest. Sad, huh?
I love the tone she leaves the album on. Finishing with ‘More To Give’, she concludes on a brighter note reaffirming who she is. The neo soul 90’s hiphop style beats speaks to the soul, whilst maintaining a joyous celebratory dance rhythm. Re-grounding herself in order to not “take for granted where I am now, I have so much more to give” she recognises her potential for further growth and development. It’s as if she’s reached the point where she is happy on her own, she’s recovered from the relationship and looking to the future.
It’s an intimate and groovy album of emotional, expressional art. She sings on a personal level sharing a new modern voice on relationships, social pressures and mental illness. The album topics are relatable, humble and down to earth.
One thing I particularly like about the album is how cohesive and easy to listen to it is. I love the funky features and complex drum beats. Its multilayered, and authentic; a true testament to DVNA’s musical capabilities! It captures the 90’s neo-soul aesthetic, yet gives an original twist creating an all-round brilliant album. The more I listen to it the more I discover to love. I look forward to watching this gold coast-based artist grow further and if you ask me, DVNA is 100% one to watch!