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A Mad And Faithful Telling

Waaaay back in March, a mysterious character called TitoP left me a comment about DeVotchKa saying ‘dude, post about the new album. Soooo awesome!’ Now TitoP, I have no doubt that you’ve been visiting this blog every day since then, growing more and more frantic and distressed at the lack of DeVotchKa album review-ness. Well, fret no more my friend. The day is finally here!

For those of you not familiar with DeVotchKa, here’s a quick summary. And yes, it’s directly from Wiki. I crave your forgiveness.

DeVotchKa is a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble that fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, Mariachi (and many more styles) music with American punk and folk roots. They take their name from Anthony Burgess’ Nadsat word for “young girl,” which is itself derived from the Russian word (девочка) of the same meaning. Based in Denver, Colorado, the quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet.

Their March release A Mad And Faithful Telling is just gorgeous, and quite unlike anything else in my music collection. It’s full of mad strings, passionate vocals and lush melodies that make me want to move to Europe and spend my nights dancing with dark haired men on parquet floors, glittering fairy lights spanning the sky above us.

The highlight track for me is ‘Blessing In Disguise’, a beautiful waltz complete with violin and horns aplenty. ‘Transliterator’ is also a stand out, with a keyboard intro that’s joined by thin plucking strings before building into a lush lamentation. You better mean what you say. Why don’t you say what you mean?

‘Strizzalo’ is an accordion based instrumental that is both playful and mournful at the same time, with the sousaphone a prominent feature. Closing track ‘New World’ is delightful, and is a little bit quieter than the rest of the album. I love the backing vocals in this track that give it a slightly other-worldly feeling. A lovely way to finish, what is for me, a highly addictive album.

Transliterator – DeVotchKa

New World – DeVotchKa

Go here for my earlier post of Blessing In Disguise.

And go here to check out DeVotchKa’s gorgeous website.