Few artists have an extensive and versatile catalog quite like Kevin Devine. The New York-based songwriter and musician released his 10th studio album in the expansive Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong, out earlier this year via Triple Crown Records. His latest is a cinematic and rich effort that displays Devine’s diverse stylings, an eclectic blend of orchestral acoustic indie, lo-fi psych-folk, and melodic guitar pop.
Whether it be his solo work, past projects like Miracle of 86 and The Goddamn Band, or collaborations like Bad Books – where he joined forces with Andy Hull of In Between Days headliner Manchester Orchestra – Devine’s striking songwriting and storytelling are always on full display. With influences at the ready (and a full cover album of Nirvana’ Nevermind entrenched in his catalog), Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong takes loose inspiration from the likes of Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Sparklehorse and The Beatles, with a kaleidoscopic sound emanating from the speakers.
Tracks like “Albatross” and “How Can I Help You?” should absorb the late-summer air like a slow, passionate kiss. Devine described a central sonic theme of “strong songs in the middle of deconstructed fields of static and atmosphere,” and that checks out. Here’s what others are saying:
American Songwriter: “With this new psychedelic, stripped-down version of his signature sound, Devine proves the ability to reinvent while remaining true to his artistic instincts.”
Vulture Hound: “Kevin Devine’s tenth album entitled Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong exemplifies what he does best as an artist. Devine doesn’t reinvent himself with new album but consistently growing and displaying a new sense of himself. This ability is of course done best through trial and error and understanding who you are not only as a person, but an artist. Devine’s career, be it solo releases or full band, shows us a new piece of the puzzle and every time it is something unique and interesting.”
Northern Transmissions: “The 11 songs on the album, each a hit in its own right, paint a picture of a man who has grappled with God, like Jacob and the angel, and come out, along with a limp, with songs that will soundtrack people’s complicated lives for years to come… This album finds Devine hitting his stride and creating in a way he never has before, as impressive of a discography as he has.”