Published Oct 01, 2019Devarrow's Graham Ereaux is working to define himself within, or maybe against, the millennial generation he belongs to. Raised with technology embedded in the everyday, and anxiety in open discussion, Devarrow mines the current age on his eponymous record, and uses folk laden with soft images to engage with the hard-edged norms of the world.
Take a stethoscope to "Heart Attack" and you'll find fine-spun folk lyrics asking for help and guidance. "Cold Sweat" similarly explores ideas of disorientation and anxiety. Between these tracks, Devarrow plunges into explorations of individualism, tech, and the modern age — all with the help of a harmonica, organ and acoustic guitar.
Almost every song on Devarrow grows, building the record into a potential energy peak that hovers on a cusp of the bouncy-then-crashing "Home." Most of the tracks include lively solo canters — for example, the harmonica-fuelled chaos of "Crashed Cars" or the synth spotlight on "Repeat" — that rocket the tracks into dynamic new territory. There is also delicateness: "The Stadium" trickles like a sun shower, swinging between frantic and tender.
There is sweetness and depth on Devarrow, but the record lurches, pulling from notably ambitious genre swings. The choice to end on the smooth-yet-elastic "Sleep/Dream," however, brings the album home and echoes notes of the opening to encapsulate the experience. (Paper Bag)