We Are Who We've Always Been
Procrastinate! Music Traitors
Kevin Devine has become so prolific that if you were to miss a year or two you may miss out on just as many records. From his lengthy devinyl split series, to a stint of double albums and singles, the Brooklyn based musician is a collaborative and enthusiastic member of the indie/emo scene. A year after last year’s well received album, Instigator, he is revisiting the eleven song track-listing with long-term collaborator Chris Braccoas in an acoustic setting under the title We Are Who We’ve Always Been.
The execution begs comparison to HOPE, Manchester Orchestra’s acoustic comparison to COPE, with the original taking a full band, guitar heavy approach, and the latter offering up a mellow introspective execution. Devine’s acoustic self is a wispy and faint personae, and while he is known for his soft spoken nature, it’s accentuated considerably for We Are Who We’ve Always Been. Much like Toh Kay’s unreleased (but streamable on YouTube) companion acoustic album to Streetlight Manifesto, The Hand That Thieves, the alternative take conjures an additional layer of emotion and vulnerability to each track.
Those already familiar with Instigator may recognize that several of the songs on the original were already quite minimalist in nature, and question whether the adjustments are worth revisiting. “Freddie Gray Blues (ft. Swivs)” serve as a revealing case study as to the nuanced adjustments that separate the new takes from the originals. Where the original focused on amplified acoustic picking, Devine re-envisions the steady opening notes with a pure piano rendition and slowly layered self harmonies. In this context, the song’s raw social commentary about white privilege and luxury of opportunity for the white middle class feels less hopeful, but more remorseful and empathetic than the original. Directly comparing songs like “No History” and “Guard Your Gates” across the disc and you begin to get the sense that these songs represent a shadow or fading memory of the originals. Like a mental vision or projection of a past event, the edges feel fuzzy, but the central memory remains in tact, and the emotional association vivid.
All in all We Are Who We’ve Always Been serves as a welcome companion album to Instigator. Considering the acoustic tone to parts of Instigator, We Are Who We’ve Always Been is a curious choice to have an acoustic counterpart. But Kevin Devine’s thoughtful reworking through piano notes and and even female guest vocals from The Mynabirds on “I Was Alive Back Then” builds a compelling case for the project. We Are Who We’ve Always Been is a fine quiet evening album that fans shouldn’t have any problem appreciating how well it would fit a warm cup of cocoa and pair noise cancelling headphones on a quiet evening in.
Kevin Devine has premiered a new song from We Are Who We’ve Always Been, a stripped down reimagining of his 2016 release, Instigator. The album was produced by longterm collaborator Chris Bracco and features guest performances from Swivs, The Mynabirds and Half Waif. We Are Who We’ve Always Been is set to be released on October 20, 2017 via Procrastinate! Music Traitors and Triple Crown Records.
Listen to the stripped down version of “No One Says You Have To” ft. The Mynabirds” below. Pre-orders for We Are Who We’ve Always Been are available here.
Long running post-punk staples Brand New have unexpectedly released digital copies of their upcoming fifth full length ahead of the album’s formal street date. The album is titled Science Fiction and is the band’s first new album since 2009’s Daisy.
Orders are available here Procrastinate! Music Traitors.
Long running post-punk staples Brand New have finally announced the details for their first new full length since 2009’s Daisy. Based on the graphic on Twitter, the album will be titled Fifth Album and is set to drop in October on Procrastinate! Music Traitors.
The band will also be touring extensively in the Fall. Tour dates are below.
Procrastinate! Music Traitors
For the past fourteen years Kevin Devine has led an almost schizophrenic recording career, varying from quiet and intimate acoustic releases to full tilt rock and power pop. This is his ninth full length solo release to date, in addition to his prolific solo output he has recorded albums with Bad Books and released the ambitious Devinyl Splits series of singles, that saw him teamed up with the likes of Brand New‘s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy‘s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws. His latest album, Instigator, is released today on his own label, Procrastinate! Music Traitors, and given his prolific and diverse recording history I have no idea what to expect from his latest album.
Instigator kicks off with a slice of power pop in No Why, and the title track that follows it retains similar qualities, but with more of a lovelorn Husker Du feel, just when you think you’ve got an idea on the direction of the album you get the fine track Magic Magnet, which sounds like Nirvana with a sunnier disposition, and then it heads into mellower downbeat acoustic territory for Freddie Gray Blues. Instigator then delivers another double dose of sparkling summery power pop with No History and Daydrunk, before you’re thrown into yet another direction with the superb new wave influenced Both Ways which leads into the sumptuous acoustic number No One Says You Have To. Guard Your Gates is another downbeat indie number and then you get Before You’re Here, which sounds to my ears like a 1950s love song that’s been transplanted into the present day, and finally the album ends with the melancholy acoustic number, I Was Alive Back Then.
Instigator is a difficult album to get a feel for, as it hops between styles and genre’s constantly over the eleven tracks, it’s unlikely that you’ll find every track to your taste on this album. Kevin Devine will always make the music he wants to make, in the style he wants to make it in, and you can’t help but admire him for that as he is a truly unique and independent figure in today’s DIY scene. Instigator is a album that encompasses so many styles it almost feels like a compilation of singles that were released over a period of several years, my personal favourites on this are Magic Magnet, Both Ways and Before You’re Here, but whatever your tastes are I guarantee that almost everyone will find their own selection of perfect moments on this album.
Instigator can be ordered via Procrastinate! Music Traitors here
Kevin Devine is now streaming his upcoming album, Instigator, which is set for release on October 21, 2016 on Procrastinate! Music Traitors and Triple Crown Records.
Stream the full disc here courtesy Noisey.
Pre-orders for the records are now available via Procrastinate! Music Traitors here
Kevin Devine has released a music video for an acoustic version of the new track, “No History.” The new LP will be titled Instigator and will drop on October 21, 2016 via Procrastinate! Music Traitors.
Watch the video below.
Kevin Devine has announced new details from his next album. The new LP will be titled Instigator and will drop on October 21, 2016 via Procrastinate! Music Traitors. Coinciding with the announcement the Devine is streaming the new song “No History.” Listen to it here courtesy Stereogum.
Track listing and upcoming tour dates are below.
Alternative indie outfit Greater Pyrenees is streaming their self-titled, debut LP which is due for release on April 15, 2016 via Brand New‘s label Procrastinate! Music Traitors.
Listen to the song full album here courtesy Substream Magazine.
Alternative indie outfit Greater Pyrenees is streaming a new song. The song it titled “Close” and will appear on their self-titled, debut LP which is due for release on April 15, 2016 via Brand New‘s label Procrastinate! Music Traitors.
Listen to the song here courtesy American Songwriter.
Alternative indie outfit Greater Pyrenees have signed on with Brand New‘s label Procrastinate! Music Traitors and announced that their self-titled, debut LP is due for release on April 15th. The band is the brainchild of former Colour Revolt guitarist Sean Kirkpatrick and he had this to say about the new band and record:
“This is the record I always wanted to make. It represents the spectrum of my music interests like no other recording I have done. No song seems to occupy the same emotional space or seems to step on another’s toes. Yet it all seems to deal with the concept of reaching that point in your life when you realize life is not going to turn out the way you expected it to be. A life that leads to as many surprises as there are disappointments. Listening back to the record. I realized I probably learned the most about myself during that time between leaving my prior band and starting this new music endeavor”
Ahead of the street date the band are streaming the lead single Homemade Blood, which can be checked out here. See below for the LP’s cover art, track listing and the band’s upcomings tour dates.