they nu religion: hyena cover

The L.A.-based duo release their first full-length following last year’s ‘Nu Religion’ EP.

Self-professed Grunge&B creators THEY. (Dante Jones & Drew Love) emerged from homes in Denver & Washington D.C. respectively through the bond of music. Long known as songwriters in the background for acts like Chris Brown and Kelly Clarkson, the THEY. duo instead insisted that their sound look further back that simple pop or danceable R&B. For their Nu Religion: Hyena album, they looked towards Seattle and in particular Kurt Cobain’s writing style and guitar work.

The result for Nu Religion: Hyena is a 14-track album that gazes as plenty of navels while also finding little restraint towards giving a fuck. It speaks towards their mode of operandi, constantly moving, unable to be pinned down. “Hyenas, shape shifters,” Love told us back in December. “You can’t classify hyenas into one sub-species, they are their own. And they draw characteristics from every other sub-species. I feel like it is the same thing as us; we draw characteristics from our influences and make what we are making.”

Nu Religion: Hyena isn’t an album packed with stargazing love songs drenched in dark guitar work. Jones & Love make certain to peel back from their own singular focus to take note of the world beyond. “Say When” latches on to topics such as police brutality and Black Lives Matter, “Now shoot down my brothers / And let them fall /And then we some thugs if we get involved”. Their creativity lends itself to not just a forgotten era with grunge but the type of simple, yet inventive sampling that prevails in pop music today. Take for example “Dante’s Creek”, bilking a bit from ’90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek. Same instrumental, reworked to the benefit of a late night with seduction on the brain.

THEY. aren’t afraid to test one another in terms of song creation, Nu Religion: Hyena is proof of that. Stream the album in full below via Apple Music.

About The Author

Brandon Caldwell is the founder & editor-in-chief of Day & A Dream. His work has appeared in VIBE, UPROXX, Complex, EBONY, the Village Voice, the Houston Press, Houston Style Magazine, DJBooth, The Sports Fans Journal, and more. Follow him on Twitter: @_brandoc