credit: Philistine DSGN
It can take years to find your voice. In the case of the Winnipeg-born, Brooklyn-based musician Devon Church, it took the dissolution of a decade-long marriage and creative collaboration (Exitmusic, a nightmare-pop project co-founded by Church's ex-wife) to send him down the road of discovering his own singular, rough-hewn-yet-elegant style.
Church applies his experience as a producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter to an equally absorbing solo project—one that plunges his Cohen-esque pop poetics into an ocean of drone, psychedelic minimalism, harmonic noise, and distortion-tinged, angelic ambience. Sensuous, surrealist lyrics—touching on themes of romantic obsession, religious ambivalence, dysfunctional families, and the ineffable strangeness of human existence—are delivered in a ravaged, soulful baritone, approximating some chimeric offspring of two-cigarettes-at-once Tom Waits, a tripped-out David Bowie, and John Maus. The result is a well-crafted exploration of samsara and nirvana, heaven and earth, two states seemingly coexisting in the songs themselves. It's an entrancing listen.
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