Devotchka may be the best band in America you’ve never heard of. This fascinating little quartet from Denver Colorado has made a wistful, beautifully-arranged something that isn’t really an indie rock record, and isn’t really a jazz record, and isn’t really a mariachi/norteno (or Eastern European) folk record. It’s the album Calexico should have been making all these years.
It’s the album you put on when you want to wallow, when you want to brood, when you want to shut your windows and close your blinds and lose yourself in the wistful tragedy of love and loss and hope and nostalgia that bubbles to the surface in all of your darker, finer moments. And though it could easily be the soundtrack to One Hundred Years of Solitude (what, with all the horns and guitars and the crooning Nick Urata), it’s actually more spiritually related to the darker and finer moments of, say, Modest Mouse. (“Night on the Sun” the-world-is-ending-right-here-in-this-guitar-delay Modest Mouse, not the newly-minted disco Mouse).
It makes you think. It makes you long. It makes you dream. And if you can listen to the aching troubador ballad “Dearly Departed” without feeling the suffocating sensation of tearing flesh from bone that accompanies any true loss, then you haven’t loved and you haven’t lost and you shouldn’t kid yourself that your better for it.
– Mikel Jolet, Filter