Releasing an impressive slew of folk-leaning, lo-fi R&B one-offs in the past year or so, Dijon has become one of the most captivating young artists to watch. Sci-Fi 1, the elusive singer-songwriter’s first formal(ish?) project since abhi//dijon—his collaboration with producer Abhi Raju—is a heady dose of genre-bending with musical references stretch across the sonic spectrum.
Opener “Lace” sets the scene for the EP, describing a stressful cross-country voyage to L.A. that ended with a relationship in turmoil. I’ve never been very lyrical, but it’s hard not to get chills when hearing Dijon scream “Now are you okay?/Sometimes you holler in your sleep/You say your whole head feels like a faucet when it leaks.” Noise takes over the last line of this section and bubbles up like the chaos inside the subject’s head, only to be concluded with a soothing outro of layered vocals that reflect, “I was lured out by a light/And I couldn’t tell what time it was/I was afraid of it/But I was compelled towards it/And it pulled me in.”
To simplify Dijon’s music as a product of the modern R&B landscape would be a huge injustice. I’m not saying that R&B influences don’t run throughout Sci-Fi 1 (“Drunk” could have been written by Jon B.), but with the songwriter citing his love for artists such as Duster and Bill Callahan, the outcome skews more Bon Iver than Frank Ocean (though the vocal delivery at times has an uncanny similarity to the latter).
Blurring the lines of genre is a common trait among modern artists, but few do it with the finesse of Dijon. My only issue? The sound quality of my Alexa just won’t cut it. Please, Dijon, release this shit on vinyl!