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d4vd highlights beauty in pain with debut EP ‘PETALS TO THORNS’

Stay tuned for our interview with d4vd dropping soon. Listen to ‘PETALS TO THORNS’ here.

Love hurts, but d4vd holds the remedy.

From Fortnite fame to blossoming pop stardom, the “Romantic Homicide” star’s talents are now fully taking shape. Stringing together a slew of singles in two years’ time, the 18-year-old’s methodical emergence from the pandemic is the epitome of a new wave origin story.

Arriving with his long-awaited debut EP on Friday (May 26), bolstered by singles “WORTHLESS,” “SLEEP WELL” and “Don’t Forget About Me,” PETALS TO THORNS lifts d4vd to stratospheric sonic heights. Including viral hits in “You & I,” “Here With Me” and naturally “Romantic Homicide,” PETALS TO THORNS is not only a proper introduction to the generational talent, but pricks at the notion of love through the lens of IT4MI.

Highlights like “The Bridge” and “Backstreet Girl” are heavenly hard-hitting. Whether it be d4vd’s raw, somber vocals or emotional electric guitars, each song elevates the Houston singer by way of grandiose, beautiful music. “The Bridge” embodies this, proving to be gateway to greener pastures that d4vd isn’t rushing to get to. He lives for the moment, as the emotional brevity of PETALS TO THORNS leans into self-reflection amid falling in and letting go of love. “Every track was made on my iPhone with Bandland in my sister’s closet,” he wrote on IG. “I hope you enjoy this deep dive into my mind because this project is every part of me verbalized.”

‘Petals to Thorns’ singles

It’s evident that d4vd has a knack for melody, found within his transcending vocals that are truly from another era. If Leon Bridges and Likin Park made alternative dream-pop, d4vd is his prodigal son — melding indie-rock undertones with a defiantly infectious bass line on “WORTHLESS” as well as crafting swooning, anthemic cuts like “Don’t Forget About Me” and “SLEEP WELL” ahead of the EP.

Beachy guitars and slow-moving percussion that litter his discography contrast the the upbeat allure of “WORTHLESS,” where d4vd proves his vocal abilities are inimitable once more. “Cause everytime the sun comes up, I start feeling worthless / it’s easier said than done, I’m trying to find my purpose,” he croons into the abyss, hitting an ear-worming high note that embeds itself into your memory. Feeling trapped and trying to “escape this town,” d4vd’s ability to make you feel what he feels is virtually unattainable for an artist his age.

This is more than apparent on “SLEEP WELL,” as d4vd’s bloodied, blindfolded character “Itami” looks back on what he used to have. “I’m here for you still / And even when you don’t think that I’m here / I’ll still be right next to you my dear,” he carols, flowing in between a riveting falsetto on the hook backed by cinematic strings — a must-watch mini movie at barely three minutes long.

His latest “Don’t Forget About Me” (May 18) is yet another exemplar of d4vd’s intrinsic sonic nature. Orchestral arrangements, a methodical guitar melody and a smooth drum percussion push d4vd’s vocals to greater bounds, belting tattered love-torn nothings that feel like he’s “reliving this feeling of alone.” “Tell me it was all in your head / don’t tell me you forgot about me / tell me I’d be better off dead,” he drones off, emphatically singing about his desire to be loved — like we all do. Connecting the minds and hearts of listeners, “Don’t Forget About Me” is his most introspectively gorgeous record yet.

d4vd’s origins

One year ago, the Houston native was writing and recording music in his sister’s closet — uploading tracks alongside clip-worthy Fortnite montages he uploaded to his YouTube channel. Amassing nearly 60,000 subscribers while feeding aspirations of a professional gaming career, d4vd soon realized that the music would take him further than his console ever would.

The alt-enigma released his breakout hit “Romantic Homicide” last summer, which peaked at No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. Recorded entirely on his iPhone, the track reached No. 1 on Spotify’s US Viral Chart and has earned over 40 million views on YouTube, as d4vd’s momentum ahead of his debut reached fever pitch when he scored a link-up with SOS superstar SZA.

Boasting 30 million Spotify monthly listeners and a die-hard fan base that’s been with him since his Fortnite days, tracks like “Here With Me,” “You And I,” (which both ended up on the EP) “Never Again” and“Placebo Effect” all paint a portrait of longevity, uniqueness and undeniable star power for the young phenom.

If one thing’s for certain, d4vd is far from “WORTHLESS” in today’s sonic landscape. Staying ahead of the curve while touting a nostalgic, forward-thinking allure, it’s hard to believe the pop sensation is only 18.

Keep tabs on d4vd. His future is full of promise.

Introducing: d4vd