Devon Mello is an artist from Newport, Rhode Island who recently released Jennifer. The songs for the most part revolve around piano and vocals. It’s a personal album. Mello says the songs “are a form of self reflection and personal inventory. They were written as a way of reconciling my relationships with my family and myself.”
The songs are emotive, nostalgic and reflective. I was at points reminded of Perfume Genius. The first song is entitled “Jazz Night At Noreys” which is mellow, melancholy and quite beautiful. It’s a well written song and I liked the melancholy emotional response it was giving off which was warm.
Up next is “Gilly” which is more upbeat and catchy. It felt like a song you might hear in a saloon or a piano. Elliott Smith came to mind. “Things Are Looking Up In This Blue Pickup” introduces a drum beat into the mix. It’s felt like the catchiest song on the album.
“The Day My Idols Die I Will Be There To Claim My Throne” goes back into melancholy territory with heartfelt words and delivery. “Buford” might be the highlight. The vocal melody and hypnotic piano instill a sense of tranquility.
As a recording engineer myself I feel the only thing holding back these songs was the recordings themselves. The recordings are very lo-fi and they sound distant which is really the exact opposite thing you want for these types of songs. The songs are intimate and are begging for close mic techniques, clarity and nuance. I think the key to these types of songs is understanding the lyrics and being able to really hear the details. That is where an extra layer of emotion is hidden in these songs. Suffice it to say I would love to hear some of Mello’s songs with the recording quality that I truly think they deserve.
Overall, these personal and heartfelt songs are quite beautiful. I truly hope to hear more from Mello.
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