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Devotchka makes a cultured comeback on fifth album

“100 Lovers”

3.5/5 pitchforks


ANTI- Records

The multi-instrumental quartet Devotchka released its fifth album, “100 Lovers,” as a product made under our very own Arizona sun.

Since the release of 2008’s “A Mad and Faithful Telling,” this culturally influenced, Colorado-based indie band has been refining its sound in an Arizona studio.

The band recorded these 12 new tracks with producer and mentor Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case).

Although the band has been consistently putting out new music for over a decade, it hasn’t yet caught the public’s eye and this might just be the album to do it.

Devotchka left a major mark on the music scene several records in with “How It Ends” in 2004. This sparked other successes, such as the score the band wrote for the Academy Award-winning cinematic treasure, “Little Miss Sunshine,” earning the band a 2006 Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack.

Fair warning: Devotchka is not for everyone. Though it does seem the band focuses on being translatable to a wider audience for the new album, the group definitely keeps its unique Eastern-European, Mariachi music infused with American punk and folk.

The band’s gypsy-esque quality is brought again to “100 Lovers,” but Devotchka also mixes up its style, leaving no track alike and creating an overall very cohesive concept for the album.

Opener “The Alley” sets an ambient mood, captivating in all its tuneful twists and turns.

From there the music maintains a coherent and upbeat feel, yet still gives the listener a balance with time to breath in the more passionate, haunting tracks.

Songs like “All the Band in the Sea” and “100 Lovers” really standout with frontman Nick Urata’s impressionable baritone voice and intricate instrumentation.

However, “100 Lovers” falls slightly short toward the end of the album with a redundant horn section in “Contraband” and “Bad Luck Heels.” The ending leaves Devotchka looking as if it may have tried a little too hard to make world music come to life on the new album.

Nevertheless, the band members are definitely still showing their progression as artists and clearly setting the bar high for their future, with “100 Lovers” being one of their best productions to date.

Devotchka will be playing at the Marquee Theater in Tempe on Sunday, March 13.

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