2020 so far has been a good year for Toronto-based record label OVO Sound; in just a few months, label founder Drake earned another Billboard record with his viral hit “Toosie Slide,” OVO OG PartyNextDoor notched another top 10 chart debut with his third album Partymobile last month, and dancehall don Popcaan returned to the fore with a new single a year after his OVO debut with his Vanquish mixtape.
Alt-R&B duo dvsn are the latest artists on the OVO roster to take the spotlight. Their third studio album A Muse In Her Feelings—the group’s first in three years—is out today, and sees the much-awaited reunion of the talents shared by singer Daniel Daley and OVO in-house producer Nineteen85.
The release campaign for A Muse In Her Feelings began in earnest last summer with trap&B track “Miss Me?” A sonically sharp tack from dvsn’s prior catalog, the radio-ready nature of the song acted as a bellwether of sorts for the direction the group would be taking for their third LP. “No Cryin,” another trap-leaning track, marked the group’s first work with a non-OVO artist, as frequent Drake collaborator Future helped the duo embark on their latest creative journey.
That spirit of collaboration would go on to characterize the rest of the album: in contrast with dvsn’s previous albums Sept. 5th and Morning After, A Muse In Her Feelings is jam-packed with appearances from some of the most recognizable names in R&B and hip hop today.
Gone are the days of dvsn strictly collaborating only with OVO signees; while the duo links up with the likes of PartyNextDoor on the sensual “Friends” and Popcaan on “So What,” these moments are only the tip of the iceberg that is the album’s collaborative efforts. Reggae royalty Buju Banton, for example, joins dvsn and Ty Dolla $ign on the passion-filled “Dangerous City,” while beloved R&B songbirds like Snoh Aalegra Summer Walker, and Jessie Reyez lend their soothing voices to provide balance to the upbeat outings throughout the tracklist.
A Muse In Her Feelings symbolizes a decidedly different direction for dvsn, and possibly the one they needed for this specific moment in time. Many music listeners have developed an ever-shortening attention span in the last decade, demanding many artists to constantly present something new or risk fading into the public’s collective memory. Dvsn made it a point to present something completely new for their third studio album, and in the process, demonstrated their ability to adapt and deliver sounds that even fans wouldn’t expect.