TRØN & DVD - MANHUNT - OUT September 13, 2019


CD (cd preorders will be signed by TRØN & DVD!) // DIGITAL via Bandcamp




As TRØN & DVD, brothers Norvin and Darian Van Dunk have pushed themselves to take their music in new directions ever since they were kids, running amok in their hometown of Nyack, New York. With Manhunt, their second LP on Kiam Records (out on September 13, 2019), TRØN & DVD present their most confident vision to date: a story of two black artists leaning into their craft to navigate the anxieties of family life and personal vices — all while surviving the threats posed by modern America.

With 2017’s Afraid of the Dark, the Van Dunk brothers expanded the sound and scope of their previous releases, tapping their new label mates to refine an aesthetic shaped as much by emo music and sci-fi as it was by classic hip-hop acts like Wu-Tang Clan. In many ways, Manhunt picks up right where that album left off. Norvin again handles the bulk of production, with his signature blend of hard-hitting kick drums and fuzzy, blaring synths. On lead single “Me Time,” Norvin shows off just how far this style has taken him, opening the track with a hushed, clattering sound effect before dropping the drums in lockstep with DVD’s ruthless verse (“Fuck a feature/I’m the feature presentation”). Later, on standout “Raps To Listen To At Night,” a mix of sirens and vocal snippets induces the palpable paranoia inherent to living under a police state, recalling the duo’s earlier work on “Vigilantes.”

Even so, the brothers’ bolder, brasher songwriting approach on Manhunt showcases how this is not quite the same TRØN & DVD from 2017. Gone, mostly, are the references to teenage troublemaking that flavored Afraid of the Dark with its coming-of-age perspective. Instead, songs like “Lost Boys ” and the aforementioned “Me Time” boast the rappers’ shared skill for playing rap super villains, a sinister archetype that also allows for a dose of lyrical playfulness (“We the monsters you was hiding from under covers,” TRØN raps on the former.). While the brothers clearly revel in the thrills of making music together, their sense of purpose rings loudest when channeling justified anger at the state of the world. “I procreated in this madness,” TRØN raps on “Godless,” sounding both beleaguered and motivated by the thought of his children’s future.

Recorded over the past two years, Manhunt reflects the rappers’ expanded Rolodex — a natural side effect to a run of concerts that saw them billed alongside established indie rap acts such as Murs, Milo, Open Mike Eagle and Mega Ran. As on Afraid of the Dark, labelmates Amy Bezunartea and Jennifer O’Connor contribute vocals to the opening and second to last tracks, respectively. The duo’s brother, Lynk, also returns to contribute a verse on “Raps To Listen To At Night.” Meanwhile, “Hydro-Pain” boasts a guest verse from Deathbomb Arc artist SB The Moor, as well as a wailing guitar solo from Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever. Last, but certainly not least, Redman raps on showstopper “4 They Life,” which also features a verse and hook from Oran Juice Jones II.

In short, Manhunt amounts to TRØN & DVD’s finest work yet, while also serving as a continuation of the story they set out to tell on Afraid of the Dark. Taking its title, in part, from a form of tag that kids play at night, Manhunt is a cogent mission statement delivered under threat of survival, both in the rap game and in the morally bankrupt landscape of modern America. It’s both a promise and a reminder that — after a decade of performing as TRØN & DVD — the Van Dunk brothers are here to stay and are out to take what’s theirs. As Norvin said, “You’re not afraid of something when you’re playing games in it.”

photo by Janette Beckman 






***listen to & watch the visual for first single "Vigilantes" below!



photo credit: Janette Beckman

Kiam Records is very proud to present Afraid Of The Dark, the debut LP by New York hip-hop duo TRØN & DVD. 

Afraid of the Dark is an ambitious and furiously creative coming of age story about two brothers.  And it's a true story, one that keeps a keen focus on family life, the importance of being an individual, and the pursuit of a dream.  It explores the struggle to navigate and balance it all, seen through the specific lens of being young black men in America.
TRØN & DVD (brothers Norvin and Darian Van Dunk) have been making mixtapes, EPs, and solo albums since 2009.  They've played the Bamboozle,Vans Warped Tour and CMJ Music Festivals as well as numerous shows alongside a diverse assortment of hip-hop and rock acts - from Pusha T to K. Flay to Twenty One Pilots.
While taking nothing away from the duo's earlier work, Afraid of the Dark marks an immense step forward, sonically and artistically.   Drawing inspiration from hip-hop heavy hitters like Kanye WestEminem and Wu-Tang Clan, as well as from indie and pop acts like Lana Del RayGrimes, and The Weeknd,standout tracks “Afraid of the Dark,” “So Far Throne,” and “We Are the Weirdos” are unfussy in their production and anthemic in their hooks.  Each stares into an adult life that promises to be complicated (“We gonna succeed despite being so demonized," raps DVD on the album’s title track), but each is filled with the ambition to bend the future.  Afraid of the Dark is a serious album, but it's equally humorous, littered with intricate pop culture references that could only be made by two such diehard fans of music, wrestling, videogames, movies and television. This spirit is evident in every single one of their songs and you can feel the exhilaration in rhymes like: "Squad like Taylor's/'Cept they paler/Prayin' that we make it that major" (DVD on"Bloodline"),  "Kofi Kingston with the grind, Just needed the right team" (TRØN on "Destructo Bros") and "Young black aspiring artist, I harness, 16 bars like bits on a cartridge, Whole family opposite of Partridge" (TRØN on "Afraid of the Dark"). 
Written and recorded over the past two years (with all initial tracks recorded and produced by TRØN), Afraid of the Dark was co-produced by TRØNTom Beaujour and Kiam Records-owner and labelmate Jennifer O’Connor (who is a also a guest vocalist & co-writer on "So Far Throne") at Nuthouse Recordingin Hoboken NJ.   Another Kiam Records labelmate, Amy Bezunartea is a guest vocalist and co-writer on the opening track “Regeneration”, the duo's brother Lynk is a featured rapper and co-writer on "The Three-Headed Beast” and Christina Van Dunk wrote and raps the hook on "Year One”.
Musically, the album sets the average bounce meter in the area of 95 bpm, with heavy kick drums and gurgling, fuzzy synths pushed straight into the foreground.  Lyrically, hints of formation, revitalization, and new life bubble up through every verse. The duo's focus is often somewhere in the distance, with a hard look at the challenges in front of them; other times it drifts to the pull of old habits as well the minutiae of everyday challenges such as how to keep your writing light on without waking the baby.  This attention to detail is an important part of what makes Afraid of the Dark so compelling.  It's one of the rare albums that reveal lyrical layers with every listen.
It makes a lot of sense that Afraid of the Dark is being released on Kiam Records, a label known for artists whose work can cut to the bone. “Our music has got to be authentic and not something that’s fabricated or forced,” says TRØN. “Even though life can be sporadic, it’s still some kind of story whether you think of it as having a beginning and an end or not. That’s what came into this album, the past two years and everything leading up to it. ”