LA's Dijon re-imagines what it is to be rock 'n roll in 2020 on "rock n roll"!

Let's face it - rock 'n roll is not particularly rock 'n roll, in 2020. Rock music is based on rebellion, on stickin' it to the man and freaking out your parents, gyrating hips, and thunderous guitars seducing the youth and wrecking civilization. Guitar-based music hasn't been particularly threatening since Bret Michaels hung up his zebra-striped trousers and Ozzy became a spastic dependant on reality TV. Pretty much every guitar-based musical movement of the last 30 years has been some sort of recycled, repackaged gimmick of the past. What we're left with is people fronting as cool and tough and hip and edgy, but are actually just cosplaying greasers before hanging up their dickies and returning to their warehouse jobs.

Ironically, the most rock 'n roll music of the last 20 years have come from the least likely of directions. If you want true rebellion, you'd better be looking at hip-hop and electronic music, and their many, many offshoots and tributaries.

Some of the more experimental r&b of recent years has been pretty revolutionary. Not only does it defy easy categorization by genre, even the sounds themselves seem reluctant to be defined. All of this can be heard (and seen) on Dijon's newest single, "rock n roll."



At face value, "rock n roll" is a greasy, slippery r&b banger, somewhere between Sly & The Family Stone and Prince, but if they'd had a jam session in Devonte Hyne's living room, with Daniel Lopatin and Arca on the boards. It's sort of like watching a bunch of day-glo fish swimming in a pool of Jell-O. At first, you're all, "Oh, that looks weird." But, peer beneath the surface, and you realize those sounds are squiggly as they look.

Nothing in "rock n roll" stands still or is as it appears. It's as if it was recorded onto blurry, melted tape. Well, at least it won't get more warped if you leave the tape on the dash during the summer...

If you ever get the chance, that is. Dijon has yet to issue a proper full-length album, despite having a string of successful EPs. "rock n roll" just raises the expectation another notch! We Are: The Guard can't wait to hear what Dijon gets into next!

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J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.