With a simple Logic rig, and a keen ear for textures, Divorced Dad funnels his meta-modernist aesthetic through house music’s rich history to produce Haha, a rewarding trip down his memory lane. Thematically, we find the artist directly addressing old friends and influences in a way that feels allegorical to any musician’s thankfulness to the scene for providing escape from turmoil.
Nowhere is this more apparent than “Meeting Jonas Borra” the autobiographical narrative of Divorced Dad’s introduction to the club business, told over an evolving four-on-the-floor that flexes voice modulation, keyboard chops and bluesy guitar leads.
It succeeds in being longer than average but never feeling so, even after repeated listens. The auto-tuned outro is a silly but tasteful choice that rounds out the song’s personal message.
Divorced Dad is a jazzy man with an ability to play Herbie Hancock inspired chords and fills at will. He showcases this talent on “For Theo/ For Pépé/ For Nikolai” which features percussive stabs and tangling, thorny acid leads before dissolving into a beautiful, grainy soundscape and a shoutout to a friend who listens to good music.
The impression I gather is Divorced Dad lives for this music, breathes the rhythm Chicago first gave the world more than 30 years ago. He has an innate understanding of the voice’s role in dance music: singing, breathing syncopations, riffing through effects and experimenting with spoken word in ways that show a gift for songwriting that puts him on trajectory to be a name in this genre after some necessary growth in production and mixing.
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