Story / Mea Cohen
Photos / PHILISTINE DSGN
Devon Church is probably best known as one half of the mesmerizing dark pop married duo that was Exitmusic. After the disunion of his marriage with Actress Aleksa Palladino, and consequently the disbanding of their musical collaboration, Church has released a debut solo album titled We Are Inextricable.
A multi-instrumentalist, Church has layered this new solo project with fuzz and distortion, ear-bending harmonies, and tranquil ambiance. The psychedelic minimalism pairs curiously well with the album’s Leonard Cohen-inspired lyrics, which narrate the intricate intimacies that make up the complex human existence. It’s Church’s delivery of these lyrics that will certainly prove to hook an audience. Church will drag you along with the gravel of his voice, each lyric scraping you in places previously untouched. His deep and turbulent vocals are haunting and racked with emotional energy.
“Your Father’s House,” muses on a family history of addiction and mental illness. The song examines the struggle to leave the past behind “and lock the door to your father’s house,” as the lyrics go. It’s a captivating listen and very timely.
“Addiction and mental illness are realities in so many families, and ‘Your Father’s House’ is more or less about my resolve to walk away from that legacy,” Church explains. I sat down with the artist to learn a little more about his music. Check out the interview below and my personal favorite track from We are Inextricable, available everywhere now.
Tell me about your foray into music?
I feel like music is one of the last places in culture that still promises us a taste of freedom and mystery and even holiness, and that’s what draws me to it above anything else. Music has made my life livable and I feel obliged to repay that debt.
What prompted you to write Your Father’s House?
All the songs on the record come from an unpremeditated impulse that I later try to scry meaning from. This one probably began as a sonic experiment or a sketch, I don’t really remember. The lyrics are more Frankensteined together here than on most of the others, almost like cutups in places. But it definitely keeps referencing a feeling I’ve had for the last few years that there’s been a sort of ‘demon’ stalking the men in my family. The chorus alludes to an actual house that was lost to a gambling problem. Addiction and mental illness are realities in so many families, and Your Father’s House is more or less about my resolve to walk away from that legacy.
This album is your solo debut, but your current lover will be supporting vocals and keys on your upcoming tour. What’s it like playing with your partner, Ada Roth?
So far it’s been great! She’s already played a huge role in making this release and the tour possible, and she is my favorite travel companion. Ada’s an amazing artist and an amazing person, and I’m really grateful this is something we can do together.
Your songs stem from such personal experiences. What is it like to share that with a live audience?
It feels good. There’s a sort of wall of ironic distancing that I think we all like to keep up for self-defense purposes, and I think the stage is weirdly one of the few places I can let that guard down. There’s a lot of bands that are fun to watch. I want to be entertaining for sure, but I’m also going for something a bit heavier, like what Werner Herzog called ‘ecstatic truth’. I’m going for a moment of boundary dissolution but within the context of these carefully crafted, lyrical songs. I’m trying to leave space to freak out a bit live. We’ll see how it all turns out soon!
West Coast Tour Dates
11.13 – Modesto, CA @ The Shire +
11.14 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz +
11.15 San Francisco, CA @ TBD
+ w/ Public Memory
^ w/ Odonis Odonis, Ritual Howls, Public Memory, Sextile, Chasms + more
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