*The Following Press Release Was Issued By Big Hassle Media*
KEVIN DEVINEANNOUNCES TENTH FULL-LENGTH ALBUM NOTHING’S REAL, SO NOTHING’S WRONGDUE OUT MARCH 25, 2022VIA TRIPLE CROWN RECORDS
PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM HERE
STREAM “ALBATROSS” HERE
|Painting Credit: Valerie Hegarty|
|New York-based songwriter and musician Kevin Devine announced his brand-new, expansive, tenth full-length album, Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong, alongside its captivating first single, “Albatross.” Due out March 25, 2022 via Triple Crown Records, the forthcoming LP is now available for pre-order. Despite hitting double digits with this latest solo record, some aspects of Devine’s work never change, like the honesty, grit, introspection, integrity and insight of his lyrics, and his career-long collaboration with producer Chris Bracco.|
Devine’s career began in the early 2000’s with the band Miracle Of 86. From there, he struck out on his own, performing solo and with his ever-evolving backing collective, The Goddamn Band, eventually forming Bad Books with Manchester Orchestra. In 2015, Devine started his Devinyl Splits 7″ series with Craig Finn, Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), David Bazan, The Front Bottoms, Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy) and many more. In addition to playing as a solo artist, Devine has served as a touring member of several bands, and performed extensively and internationally with a range of other artists such as Frightened Rabbit, John K Samson and Julien Baker, amassing a loyal, fervent following along the way.
Now, two decades later, amidst incredibly extreme hardship, Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong sees Devine mature gracefully as he sits in the deep discomfort of a crumbling world around him, while not forcing it to pass. The 11-track record acts as a lifeboat in a tumultuous sea of cultural, familial and spiritual crises, as Devine navigates everything from fatherhood to divorce.
Created free of time constraints, the layered, cinematic body of work was written primarily from January 2019 to March 2020 and was largely worked on remotely from Devine & Bracco’s respective homes. The album is designed to be listened to in order from start to finish and each track brings listeners deeper and deeper into Devine’s own personal, wholehearted audiovisual atmosphere, where poetry melts into the music with synergy. All at once, psych-folk, orchestral acoustic, lo-fi bedroom and indie-rock seamlessly blend together using an array of synths, varied frequencies, vocal effects and found sounds, like bird songs and street proselytizers. In fact, the record begins with the voice of Devine’s daughter, who gently recounts a dream, wrapping the work in a warm blanket of sincerity and humanity right from the start.
“Albatross” is the powerful lead single that not only sets the tone, but establishes the thesis of the album as a whole. The foundation upon which the record is built, Devine chants in the chorus, “If you’re sinking, sing along/Nothing’s real, so nothing’s wrong.” Over a slew of lush synths, drums, and bass, Devine’s breaking vocals encourage risk and reward, as he sings, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained / Nothing matters anyway / If you’re frightened, stay awake / Pick a god and start to pray / Good Ganesha / Shiva’s arms / Jesus Christ in camouflage / If you’re sinking sing along / Nothing’s real so nothing’s wrong.” With that, the album title was born.
Speaking about the new single, Devine says, “Albatross” is a hard reboot, a fragmented emptying-out for us strugglers whose life experience invalidates cookie-cutter solutions or miracle cures or 21st century coping mechanisms. Where do you turn for comfort when the generally-accepted value system and discourse is this degraded and grotesque? Maybe letting go, and then more letting go, of the burden of communicating that for which no suitable words exist, of fumbling at ad-hoc answers to the unanswerable, of investing in a perverse and upside-down reality that encourages you to internalize the need to fix things you didn’t break.”
Devine manages to find a delicate balance between his own micro experiences and macro structural ideas that he aims to challenge — confronting a dichotomy, breaking free of any past restrictions and re-imagining something bigger and believing in something better. He paints an illustrious, quietly intricate portrait of a life greater than the one he knows. This is something all of his records have touched on, but not quite like this.
With his tenth full-length record, Devine invites old fans and new listeners to join him on an authentic, intimate, prismatic journey into the preservation of self and what that means, as reclaiming the inner landscape of our minds fast becomes our last, best remaining method of resistance. Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong is out March 25th, 2022 via Triple Crown Records and is currently available for pre-order. The first single, “Albatross” is out everywhere now. Stay tuned for more from Kevin Devine.
|Photo Credit: Erik Tanner|
In the very first line of her 1959 novel The Haunting Of Hill House, the late author Shirley Jackson writes, “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.” That conviction is shared by musician Kevin Devine on his upcoming 10th LP Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong, a beautiful, surreal, cinematic bedroom-rock fever dream. Its title, hewn from the chant-sung chorus of lead single “Albatross,” nods to this. In the face of incomprehensibly desperate struggles, a new spiritual paradigm is a necessity: “If you’re sinking, sing along/Nothing’s real, so nothing’s wrong,” sings Devine.
Like Jackson’s observation, it’s not an encouragement of retreat; it’s an inward solution in the name of preservation, a personal reorientation toward struggle in a collapsing landscape riddled with failed systems and vacant coping mechanisms that breed malignant internalizations.
“Part of what’s so scary about all of this stuff happening outside of us is so much of it feels so surreal and cynical,” says Devine. “We’ve invested in a version of reality that is almost so perverse that it can’t be real. Trying to find a solution to that almost involved seeing the thing as it is and invalidating it to yourself: it’s not that I’m poor, it’s that capitalism is fucking broken and rapacious. It’s not that I’m not a real man, it’s that masculinity is broken. It’s not that I’m not strong because I’m not violent, it’s that militarism has infected everything we look at.”
This is the central thesis linking the record’s 11 tracks, which drift between orchestral acoustic indie, lo-fi psych-folk, and melodic guitar pop. “They’re all excavating a particular brand of how to operate in a crisis, spiritual and familial and cultural,” explains Devine. “Rather than a spiritual bypass that tells me I’m being taken care of by some invisible architect, it’s like, ‘Everything is exactly as it is and a lot of what I invest in actually isn’t real and doesn’t need to be invested in.’ Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong might be a little pithy, but how do I get through today? Sometimes that’s the best answer.“
“I see it as a kind of stepping outside and taking some sort of virtual scalpel and carving a safe space for yourself, not to exist in denial but in a kind of re-enfranchised opposition.”
Devine wrote most of the record’s songs between January 2019 and March 2020, working remotely with collaborator Chris Bracco. Drums for the record were cut in studio, but otherwise Devine and Bracco recorded in their homes, with Devine using a four-channel mixer to record guitars. With no strict timelines, the duo explored and applied extra-tonal structural features, experimenting with different synths, sub-bass frequencies, sound effects, and found sound, like bird songs or street proselytizers or Devine’s daughter recounting a dream she had.
While releases like 2016’s Instigator embraced what Devine describes as vertical expressions of dynamics, like the “spiky, power-pop, loud-quiet, Nirvana-Pixies thing,” this collection expresses itself theatrically, in broad, horizontal textures and palettes. Devine and Bracco were influenced in particular by the Flaming Lips’ Soft Bulletin. “Flaming Lips were like, ‘What if we made sweet Beatles songs then made them as fucked up as possible?’” says Devine. “There’s a little bit of that spirit that animates this too.”
Sequenced and designed to be listened to from start to end, the record shudders awake on “Laurel Leaf (Anhedonia)” with a whoosh of found sound as Devine’s daughter’s voice enters, couched on eerie synths before a mechanical Elliott Smith guitar riff spirals listeners down a sonic and thematic rabbit hole. Follow-up “Override” snaps up the torch and continues with a charged, gothic, synth-and-guitar gymnastic routine that eventually collapses into a strings-led bridge, then reignites for a raucous finish. “How Can I Help You” begins with ricocheting synth before thumping into a spirited, upbeat rumble and a joyous chorus complete with chiming bell tones.
“Albatross” picks up these cues with crackling vocals before a wall of guitars, bass, drums, and woodwind synths waltzes straight up to the quiet, hymnal bridge: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained/Nothing matters anyway/If you’re frightened, stay awake/Pick a god and start to pray.” Eventually the instruments explode back in, sweeping up Devine’s titular creed-chanting in a maelstrom outro. On Side B, “It’s A Trap!” is pure, melody-forward bedroom-power-pop bliss that shifts gears effortlessly, and moody country-noir riffing leads “Tried To Fall In Love (My Head Got In The Way)” into a delirious, harmony-laden ‘70s rock daydream. The record closes quietly on “Stitching Up The Suture,” a contemplative come-down resolving in a whoosh that bleeds right back into the first track.
Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong is a tactical reengagement with the world, an ad-hoc spiritual system to preserve one’s self while dancing between the gnashing, blood-stained gears of capitalism. The cultivation of this system is important: the self is one of the few spaces where we can truly resist. “You can try to take everything external from me, but you’re not gonna be allowed to take the space between my ears and in my chest,” says Devine. “That’s the space that actually animates how I will move around in the world. And I still have to be in the world every day.”
|Painting Credit: Valerie Hegarty||Tracklisting: Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong (LP)|
01. Laurel Leaf (Anhedonia)
03. How Can I Help You?
04. Swan Dive
06. If I’m Gonna Die Here
07. Someone Else’s Dream
08. Hell Is An Impression of Myself
09. It’s A Trap!
10. Tried To Fall In Love (My Head Got In the Way)
11. Stitching Up the Suture
|Photo Credit: Erik Tanner|