Djo, the alias of musician-actor wunderkind Joe Keery, released a spectacular debut album last September. This was put out surreptitiously, with very little promotion or fanfare, and without a label. Despite this, the album has earned upwards of 40 million streams, a testament to the music’s undoubtable wonder. Released with equal surprise, new single Keep Your Head Up builds upon the musicality of Djo’s initial foray.
Keery first released material as Djo last July, first single Roddy a vibrant psychedelic pop jewel, steeped in plentiful ominous splendour and a pristine current of vocals. Djo’s debut LP, Twenty Twenty, boasted the ex-Post Animal guitarist’s melodic talent in abundance and that same band’s sublime psychedelic pop sheen, amongst a rush of other eclectic influences. Djo’s latest single surges further still into magnificent eclecticism.
Keep Your Head Up sees Djo’s unendingly brilliant psych tendencies joined by moments evincing Prince or George Clinton style funk. Of course, perhaps knowingly, the track’s saxophone bellows earn it this banner; but they do so with sophistication, bolstering the core instrumentation in an emergent, beautiful dalliance. This unremittingly joyous style also lies in the vivid production; the ever so exuberantly affected guitars, for example. Keery’s jauntily murmured vocal of the titular lyric pushes the track into a borderline jazz realm, the subtle sumptuousness instantly delightful in it’s melodicism.
His touring schedule inevitably scuppered by 2020’s obstacles, Keery devoted himself to creating a slew of new Djo material, this new track being just a sliver of that.