Written By Zoe Kallenekos
Some of the best art is pure escapism, something that takes us directly into the moment someplace else. With his new atmospheric dance track “Blur,” dhruv accomplishes just that.
Upon first listen, one might not be able to tell how different this song is compared to dhruv’s previous efforts. Earlier this year, he released his debut EP, “rapunzel,” chock full of soft, lo-fi, bedroom pop meets r&b music. Essentially, these previously released songs were better suited for the speakers of a coffee shop rather than the dancefloor. Listening through “rapunzel”, one might be compelled to compare dhruv to the artist he is supporting on tour this October: Joji. Indeed, their shared rich vocals and “sad boy” lyrical tendencies demonstrate why they make a good match touring together.
However, “Blur” represents dhruv’s willingness to experiment with a new genre that further distinguishes him as his own artist. Taking the strengths from his debut, dhruv successfully translates his artistry for a more upbeat record. This transition, which seems to work a little too well on the surface, makes sense upon looking into what dhruv is all about, and seeing the tools he possesses to pull off this genre switch so seamlessly.
As soon as the song begins, “Blur” immediately sets the tone for the next few minutes. First comes the brief intro,a mix of synths and faint, angelic vocals that elicit the feeling of being in an ethereal, dream-like state of being. Then, just as quickly as it started, it all stops and is replaced by a thumping bass that instantly gets you into the groove.
The lyrics, however, carry on the mood of the intro, fully establishing the theme of the song by using the title in the first line: “The room became a blur/ And all I could see was you dancing.” From here, dhruv only continues to impress with his storytelling ability, taking you straight onto that dance floor by describing how everything looks and feels in such a vivid and detailed way. Phrases such as “under strawberry lights” and “put a spring in my step” make everything during those three minutes and 40 seconds of the song feel sweet and energized, just like the feeling of initial attraction to someone that dhruv is describing.
The music itself is somewhat of a blur, as well, mixing different instruments to create a hybrid of different sounds. The instrumental feels distinctly modern while incorporating elements of more retro genres like new wave and disco. Altogether, it makes for a sound that is timeless rather than dated, similar to how the lyrics tell a story relatable to anyone who has felt the magic of being drawn to someone new.
The musical and lyrical aspects work so well together because they are both fully captivating, representing what pop music can do when it’s at its best: say something and be irresistibly catchy. There are too many moments of lyrical genius to name, but one standout is: “Loving you feels like a daydream/ And leaving you twists like a knife.” Lyrics like these make it so that, even after several listens, there is always something underneath the bubbly beat to appreciate and reflect upon.
Although “Blur” is dream-like in many ways, it is not for the hazy summer days in the sun, but for when the night cools off and you feel the adrenaline of something new, exciting, and surreal start to kick in. Ultimately. “Blur” is a fun, entrancing and downright danceable track that never feels like it’s acting too big for its britches – never overblown, never impersonal. It’s an exciting evolution for dhruv as he takes his lyrical prowess and knack for crafting enticing and smooth instrumentals and uses them to expand into a new genre. If anything, it shows potential for dhruv to go even bigger in future efforts, and get even more bombastic.