Devics

Push the Heart

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

On their fourth full-length album, Devics don't stray far from their usual ethereal piano-plus-sampler, late-night vibe. Sara Lov again provides the majority of the vocals, her voice coming across as a restrained blend of Hope Sandoval, Mary Timony, and Kristin Hersh while offering up tales of love, lies, and loss. Lov's instrument is certainly lulling, but not that distinctive, especially within the confines of Dustin O'Halloran's shoegazer-like audio web. Too often, O'Halloran layers in the same cooing background hum, to the point where the album nearly devolves into an aural bout of coffee-table lethargy. With many of the songs rolling along at a slow drizzle, only the Mum-like "Secret Message to You," with its typewriter sound effect glitch, and the fractured "Just One Breath" really pick up steam. "Distant Radio," in theme and execution, travels a bit too far into Mojave 3 mimicry but lacks the bombast that put that group over the top. O'Halloran's deeper vocal contributions are a nice contrast, but can't match the subtlety or texture of influences like Leonard Cohen or Richard Hawley. Album closer "Come Up" is particularly pretty. Still, one gets the sense that this is an album recorded with white gloves, and the calculation behind the tunes is nearly tangible. With more variation, more separation in the mix, and a bit more conviction and passion overall, Push the Heart would be easier to recommend. As it stands, it's just a slightly-better-than-average indie chamber pop excursion.

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