2022, for anyone who keeps up with indie music, was a year of immense change and hybridity within alternative rock, and not just because of the culture that grew out of political discord we’ve been seeing take on another life in the music community. From top to bottom, the alternative lexicon has been getting a makeover thanks to the insurgent efforts of a new generation of independent players, and one of the finest among this incoming crowd is none other than DEVORA. DEVORA’s new extended play God is Dead is out this January amidst a market admittedly unsure of its sustainability, but it feels like a four-track masterpiece that could do a lot to bring listeners together in her scene.
The melodic parts in this record are always playing a supporting role, but this isn’t to suggest a lack of muscularity outside of the bottom end at all. On the contrary, even exotic tunes like “Pornstar” or the title track in God is Dead have a vocal-driven excitement that only intensifies the emotional presence of the lyrics as they’re delivered by our star. There’s nothing in this EP that tells me DEVORA wants us to focus on the technical elements of the music; after all, anyone can boast repetition – few can produce pure chills
Despite the acerbic tone of her delivery as we find it in “Wild West” and “Bonesaw,” the multifaceted poeticisms of these songs from our lead singer feel as much about love as they are about its absence from the world around us. One of my favorite things about DEVORA is the willingness she has to wear her heart on her sleeve, even when extending something so personal that it feels as though the track could break down from her vulnerability before it even gets started. She’s not afraid to be the real article, and I can only hope her mainstream counterparts follow her lead in the years to come.
There didn’t need to be quite as tight an emphasis on the harmonies in the title cut, “Bonesaw,” and “Pornstar” especially, but I can understand the goal just the same. To some degree, it’s reasonable to see why DEVORA would want to go with a bleached look for these songs, primarily as a way of focusing on the rawness of her statements, but I don’t think it’s something she should make a habit of. She’s still finding her footing in the international underground, but overall this is a well-rounded effort that doesn’t need to be gone over with a red pen at all.
Not since listening to some of the work Clare Means released a few years ago have I been as bewitched by a tracklist’s soft melodic whispers as I am when listening to DEVORA’s God is Dead this winter.
SMART URL: https://ffm.to/godisdeadep
God is Dead is at times a dark cloud on a dreary afternoon, and yet there’s a contrast within its musicality that makes us feel like we’re supposed to be seeing things from an alternate perspective. A solid five out of five stars, this is required listening this season if you consider yourself a fan of smart indie music.