2022 was a big year or the insularity of contemporary pop music to say the least, but few of the records I’ve had the chance to sit down with in the past couple of months have captured the spirit of the postmodern narrative quite as well as DEVORA’s dark new release God is Dead does.
Although spacially limited by the minimalist aesthetics of the lyrics in more than a few instances here, this record features the sort of tracklist that demands an uninterrupted listening session out of its audience from the time we start with the opening cut to the second the last track, “Bonesaw,” disappears into the night. Both well-rounded artistically and yet still fractured enough to sound multidimensional when it would otherwise be beholden to pop consistencies, God is Dead is a provocative EP that feels like the start of an incredible career in the spotlight for this magnificently gifted songwriter and performer.
Just in terms of their basic components, “Bonesaw,” “Pornstar,” and “Wild West” could have made for an interesting teaser disc all on their own, but when packaged beside the engrossing title track in this record they sound like the cornerstones of a brutally personal diary entry. There’s so much for us to learn from the lyrics in this EP that it almost seems wrong for me to suggest spending as much time trying to deconstruct all of the emotion in the instrumentation, but I find it to be a worthy treat for those who want to get a little deeper than the verses can allow for. Even with a sense of minimalism in play, DEVORA is creating a space for honest confessions that most can only put down on paper for fear of the weight the linguistics happen to contain.
I’d love to hear “Bonesaw” live sometime, and while the other tracks here are compelling, there’s something so unapologetically brash about the way this one is delivered that I feel like it’s more focused around the kind of sound and style we can expect to hear from DEVORA in the future. She’s being herself in every part of God is Dead, but in this performance feels like we’re seeing her on overdrive, exploiting the emotional thrust of her poetic sensibility for everything it’s worth. It’s angry at times but so subtly embedded into the framework of the music that her attack never takes any attention away from the substance of her songwriting.
DEVORA is channeling some incredible vibes in this extended play, and if you’re curious to see why critics have been taking a liking to her work more than the competition, now is a great time to take a peek at God is Dead. I’d love to hear a follow-up to this record soon, and with the demand I project its best songs might have, I think I’m going to get my wish. This feels like the seeds of a proper LP that just haven’t matured into everything they could be just yet, and with a little more time I have a feeling DEVORA is going to blow all of us away not only with her talent but how she’s putting it into action.