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Nov. 19, 2018 | Sidney Madden -- When dvsn visited NPR for this Tiny Desk concert, it reminded me of the first time I saw them two years ago in New York City. They decided to wash the desk in vibrant blue, purple and orange lighting, brought in by dvsn's team to make the space feel like a concert hall. And while the audience at NPR was almost as densely packed as that NYC venue, it felt much like my live introduction to the group — grandiose in presentation, but at the same time, deliberately intimate in delivery.
With a four-piece band and three pristine backup vocalists for support, singer Daniel Daley flexed his falsetto pipes and a shiny gold grill, running through a sampler of fan-favorites about breaking up, making up and trying to move on. The short-and-sweet set is an example of the kind of audible acrobatics you don't often hear at contemporary R&B shows anymore.
Though it's easy to mistake dvsn as simply the stage moniker of Daley, the act is really a duo comprised of the singer and Grammy Award-winning producer Nineteen85, the (almost) secret weapon behind the boards. Together, the Toronto-based duo has released two albums so far — 2016's Sept. 5th and 2017's Morning After. And on the day of the Tiny Desk concert, while Daley gleamed in the spotlight behind dark shades, Nineteen85 hung back in the audience to, as always, play the role of humble maestro.
Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski, Bronson Arcuri, Beck Harlan; Editor: Kaylee Domzalski; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR