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  Red Morning b/w Sunny  
  Bella Union  
Release Date:
  late 2002  
Reviewed by:

Devics are an LA band whose career i have been watching for a while. Someone online pointed me to their website, from which i downloaded and enjoyed several tunes. The site has been totally re-done recently, losing the many MP3s they used to have up there, unfortunately.

Interestingly enough, Devics recently got signed to Bella Union, the label run by ex-Cocteau Twins Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie. This is Devics first release for Bella Union, and it is a limited release 7" single off of their new album. (The album is already out by this point.)

Their sound reminds me of The Jody Grind: vaguely jazzy, languid music with strong female vocals. Singer Sara Lov has a very nice voice, which really up til now has been the attraction of this band for me. Oh sure, i enjoyed the arrangements on the songs, but her voice was always the clear centerpiece.

But this is a tremendous departure from the band in terms of songwriting. The music is still quirky, but now it is darker, more menacing, and more interesting in all honesty. Lov's voice still drives the music, but it does not dominate it in the same way that she seemed to dominate thier previous release, My Beautiful Sinking Ship. The sound is more balanced i suppose.

Anyway, there are two songs here, and both are quite nice.

The A-side is Red Morning, which is the lead song off of the new album. This is a great song. No really. It is dominated by a plodding keyboard riff that shares melodic duties with Lov's voice. Guitar strums lightly, carrying a hint of tremolo (and full-fledged tremolo in the choruses), and brushed drums lightly back things up. The overall effect is vaguely Portishead-like. Devics have more of a vaguely western/desert feel to them, but the overall effect is still that of a smoky jazz club. It's a really catchy and lovely song.

The B-side is called Sunny and songwriting credit is given to Bobby Webb. I have no idea who that is, so this might be a cover. Anyway, this song featured Devics guitarist Dustin O'Halloran singing, although his voice is heavily distorted. This song is postively glacial in it's pace, and the instrumentation is dark and mysterious. E-bowed guitar, high-pitched and frantic violing, and keyboard drone make up the instrumental backing. Despite the songs lyrical matter (something about "you make me sunny" or something like that), the song is eerie and thoughtful. Very nice.

Overall, i am impressed with this release. Devics seem to be pointed in a new direction, and i am curious to see where it takes them. If you can find a copy of this 7", i highly recommend it.

Related Links:

None available yet, but watch this space for a review of their new album.


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