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Album Review: Devon Williams – Euphoria

LA based Devon Williams is yet another artist aiming create music which incorporates melodies of the 60s with the heartbreaking sounds of anguish felt in the 80s. His latest record, Euphoria, tries hard to perfect this, harking back to the past with the Brian Wilson vibes felt on opening tracks, ‘Revelations’ and ‘Your Sympathy’ – the latter being accompanied by a video containing images of haze and dare I say it – psychedelia (I tried my best to avoid using that word, I swear).

Euphoria was in part recorded and mixed with Jorge Elbrecht (part of the superbto Violens) and has helped create an album which will most commonly be described as jangly pop due to the carefree landscapes painted on tracks like ‘Favor Tree’ and ‘Sufferer’ – which contains the dark tinged lyric, ‘Shed Your Fear / & I Will Share Mine’. Meanwhile, ‘Tower Of Thought’ has a wonderful, uplifting beginning reminiscent of The Cure, with its purposefully strummed chords and a driving horror-inducing bassline – although, I think Twin Shadow do the 80s thing much more succinctly. ‘Slight Pain’ sounds like a 70s Kung Fu movie with its cringe worthy inclusion of a woodwind instrument, before lurching into a well of depression. In parts, it does contain some strings but instead of drawing me into his feelings, I’m merely left thinking I’ve dropped into some horrible time warp.

Euphoria is a record full of influences from the British guitar scene along with the summery breeze of Americas west coast. Devon has a memorable voice and an undeniable songwriting talent. I just feel that he fails to put across the feelings of suffering and desperation he’s writing about, which is a great shame, as Euphoria had the potential to be a lovely ending to a dreary British summer.

Euphoria is available this week on Slumberland Records.

-Gavin Bevan

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