A prolific alternative rock band formed in the early day of 2004, Devine Lie have spent the best part of eighteen years cultivating a sound that boldly explores current social issues, personal philosophies, and more surrealist dreams. Backed by a diverse style that incorporates both classic and contemporary genres, they’ve cemented themselves as one of the modern era’s most intriguing musical acts, and now, with the release of their tenth studio album, they’ve proved they still have a lot to offer.
Released on the 9th of September this year, ‘Indelible Stain’ sees the band in a more poignant and reflective space, carrying forward their heady alt-rock sound and delving into the heart of trauma to help bring about a little solace. Described as a “journey to release and heal from everyday pain,” ‘Indelible Stain’ is an album of self-discovery and triumph, showcasing the band’s growing maturity and stylistic evolution in perfect form.
Opening with lead single ‘Feelings You Hide in Your Heart’, the band waste little time in making their mark, lashing out with an emotive powerhouse. Built from rapturous melodic sounds that twist, turn, and calmly drag you under, the track speaks to feelings of pain, heartbreak, and frustration, carving a path directly into your heart. Lead by the Voice UK’s Grant Tuffs, who features brilliantly on the album, it’s a song that captures the nature of the album in an instant.
Pushing forward through tracks like ‘Nothing to Me’ and ‘An Ordinary Man’, Devine Lie look for safety, but find only more questions, dwelling on old feelings and insecurities. Together, they’re an impressive duo, offering tempered rock sounds and gentle pop additions that drift between more operatic compositions and playful melodies. As the album continues, ‘Aliens or Demons’ continues to explore the more operatic pop sound, fusing scintillating rock overtones with a sense of dramatic poise that is purposefully designed to help you deal with the pain of reality, while the title track fades into focus with a slower, more deliberate rock sound, shining through flickering passages and subtle twists that promote an emotive backdrop for Grant’s vocals. It’s a song best experienced than talked about, and like the opening cut, it perfectly embodies the tones and inspirations of the album as a whole.
In the latter half of the album ‘Never the One You Haven’t Met’ evolves from textured acoustics to create a soaring homage to the one who got away, while ‘Voltaire’s Tears’ and ‘Sooner or Late’ push more nostalgic alt-pop sounds and heavy atmospherics to confront fear, frustration, and the everyday hardships we all face. In the closing cut, Grant and the band deliver a far more upbeat and pleasant sound, paying homage to the Dorset’s famous ‘Durdle Door’. It’s a pleasant, but interesting final note on an album that so readily deals with pain and hardship, one that occasionally feels out of place amongst the rest of the album, but nonetheless, leaves you with a smile on your face.
When discussing the album, Nigel Nicholls of the band explained, that he felt it was their “best album yet, and I am extremely proud of the work that’s been produced,” and that’s a sentiment that’s hard to disagree with. Instantly engaging, wonderfully expressive, and deeply personal, it’s an album that hits the mark far more than it misses, and while there are a few bumps and jolts along the way, Devine Lie have delivered a truly memorable journey.
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