In the case of Unusual Demont, “unusual” is an appropriate word to lead with. The 21-year-old Wisconsin artist is a self-described weirdo who’s interested in a spectrum of sounds ranging from K-pop to slowed and reverbed Frank Ocean songs. Thanks to the internet, he grew up exploring it all, but he also had the foundation of influence from his grandfather who played drums with Curtis Mayfield.

Demont’s debut track “Amber” has him off to a fast start—it’s the kind of song of song that shares qualities with so much of what’s happening in music right now: a little alternative R&B, a little indie pop, and a touch of old soul. It could easily be a left-field addition to almost any open-minded playlist, and it’s racked up millions of plays over the last months. This week he followed it up with his second release, “Pine.” 

“With ‘Pine’ I wanted to show a dichotomy between the lyrics and energy of the song again,” he says. “Although the song itself is really bouncy and upbeat, it’s actually about the moral dilemma of a homewrecker coming into a dying relationship. As I wrote it I imagined a roller rink in the late ‘90s or early 2000s lit up with green lights on a Friday night. I chose the name ‘Pine’ because green is the color of envy and that’s the exact hue I visualized at the roller rink.”

“As soon as I heard the beat for ‘Pine,’ the lyrics just started flowing out,” he continues. ‘Even though that’s how I write most of my songs, ‘Pine’ still stood out to me as a single. It just had that groove I was looking for—shout out [co-writer] Little Terry! I wanted each of the singles that followed “Amber” to represent a different aspect of the music that defines me as an artist. “Pine” shows my more pop-oriented side, and I want the next single to show everyone the more experimental-leaning side of me.”

Despite feeling like an outcast and having an eclectic mix of influences and reference points, Unusual Demont has managed to package it all up in a way that’s accessible to so many different taste palettes. Besides, these days who can’t relate to feeling like a weirdo in one way or another?—Jacob Moore

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