Article by KevW
Devoted Friend is the nom de plume of Manchester artist James Grimshaw, a man who quite correctly describes his brand of music as "quiet indie". The songs on his debut album 'Levitates' are at times barely audible, particularly intros, and he brings a whole new aspect to the loud/quiet/loud dynamic, moving from virtual silence to fervent strumming on tracks like 'Balled Up Pt. 2'. With so many of these tunes being so distant and so subtle the intimacy is particularly important. These are songs that must be listened to. If you simply leave them playing in the background you'll likely miss out on much of the album.
Although 'Levitates' is little more than a guitar and a voice it, doesn't fit with the regular singer-songwriter shtick and the songs don't compare easily to other artists, for something so delicate there's much discord to be found. The harrowing faraway cries on 'It Doesn't Matter' or 'What We Will Do For The Rest Of Our Lives' have a unique and slightly unsettling quality. Single 'Hide And Seek' condenses the album's key characteristics into one song. From a beginning so subtle it's almost non-existent, to those echoing, remote vocals, right through to the pause and the thrashed-out ending. Devoted Friend won't be for everyone, but those looking for music with emotion and music to get lost in should cast their ears over this one.
Devoted Friend's website
Stream or download the album
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