Kevin Devine has announced his brand-new, expansive, tenth full-length album, Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong, alongside its captivating new single, “Albatross.” Due out March 25, 2022 via Triple Crown Records, the forthcoming LP is now available for pre-order. Despite hitting double digits with this latest solo record, some aspects of Devine’s work never change, like the honesty, grit, introspection, integrity and insight of his lyrics, and his career-long collaboration with producer Chris Bracco.
Speaking about the new single, Devine says, “Albatross” is a hard reboot, a fragmented emptying-out for us strugglers whose life experience invalidates cookie-cutter solutions or miracle cures or 21st century coping mechanisms. Where do you turn for comfort when the generally-accepted value system and discourse is this degraded and grotesque? Maybe letting go, and then more letting go, of the burden of communicating that for which no suitable words exist, of fumbling at ad-hoc answers to the unanswerable, of investing in a perverse and upside-down reality that encourages you to internalize the need to fix things you didn’t break.”
Devine’s career began in the early 2000’s with the band Miracle Of 86. From there he struck out on his own, performing solo and with his ever-evolving backing collective, The Goddamn Band, eventually forming Bad Books with Manchester Orchestra. In 2015, Devine started his Devinyl Splits 7″ series with Craig Finn, Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), David Bazan, The Front Bottoms, Meredith Graves (Perfect Pussy) and many more. In addition to playing as a solo artist, Devine has served as a touring member of several bands, and performed extensively and internationally with a range of other artists such as Frightened Rabbit, John K Samson and Julien Baker, amassing a loyal, fervent following along the way.
Now, two decades later, amidst incredibly extreme hardship, Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong sees Devine mature gracefully as he sits in the deep discomfort of a crumbling world around him, while not forcing it to pass. The 11-track record acts as a lifeboat in a tumultuous sea of cultural, familial and spiritual crises, as Devine navigates everything from fatherhood to divorce.
Created free of time constraints, the layered, cinematic body of work was written primarily from January 2019 to March 2020, and was largely worked on remotely from Devine & Bracco’s respective homes. The album is designed to be listened to in order from start to finish, and each track brings listeners deeper and deeper into Devine’s own personal, wholehearted audiovisual atmosphere, where poetry melts into the music with synergy. All at once, psych-folk, orchestral acoustic, lo-fi bedroom and indie-rock seamlessly blend together using an array of synths, varied frequencies, vocal effects, and found sounds, like bird songs and street proselytizers. In fact, the record begins with the voice of Devine’s daughter, who gently recounts a dream, wrapping the work in a warm blanket of sincerity and humanity right from the start.
“Albatross” is the powerful lead single that not only sets the tone, but establishes the thesis of the album as a whole. The foundation upon which the record is built, Devine chants in the chorus, “If you’re sinking, sing along/Nothing’s real, so nothing’s wrong.” Over a slew of lush synths, drums, and bass, Devine’s breaking vocals encourage risk and reward, as he sings, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained / Nothing matters anyway / If you’re frightened, stay awake / Pick a god and start to pray / Good Ganesha / Shiva’s arms / Jesus Christ in camouflage / If you’re sinking sing along / Nothing’s real so nothing’s wrong.” With that, the album title was born.
Devine manages to find a delicate balance between his own micro experiences and macro structural ideas that he aims to challenge — confronting a dichotomy, breaking free of any past restrictions and re-imagining something bigger and believing in something better. He paints an illustrious, quietly intricate portrait of a life greater than the one he knows. This is something all of his records have touched on, but not quite like this.
With his tenth full-length record, Devine invites old fans and new listeners to join him on an authentic, intimate, prismatic journey into the preservation of self and what that means, as reclaiming the inner landscape of our minds fast becomes our last, best remaining method of resistance. Nothing’s Real, So Nothing’s Wrong is out March 25th, 2022 via Triple Crown Records and is currently available for pre-order. The first single, “Albatross” is out everywhere now. Stay tuned for more from Kevin Devine.