Release Date: Oct 15, 2013
Record label: ADA
After a rapidly successful Kickstarter campaign, Kevin Devine has released two albums— Bulldozer and Bubblegum. Bubblegum is a full-band record with The Goddamn Band and Brand New’s Jesse Lacey in the producer’s chair, but that’s a different story. For Bulldozer (his seventh studio album), Devine partnered with Rob Schnapf, who produced his 2006 record Put Your Ghost To Rest (as well as landmark albums from artists such as Beck, Dr.
Prolific Brooklyn-based songwriter Kevin Devine called on his fans to help fund not one, but two new albums in 2013, starting a Kickstarter campaign and reaching his goal of $50,000 in donations in less than a single day. The campaign would go on to more than double that goal, and of the two resultant records (the other being Bubblegum, a high-energy collaboration with his friends in the Goddamn Band), Bulldozer was credited as a solo album, bringing Devine's culturally critical and often political lyrics a little higher in the mix along with the acoustic guitars. Without losing any of the distortion, Devine's approach is clear-headed and direct, melding the indie pop mysticism of Neutral Milk Hotel or Elliott Smith's tunesmithery with the political conscience of Billy Bragg.
It’s a rare musical joy when an album holds within it a song, lyric or even a riff that captures the essence of the entire record perfectly. When this happens for a double album it is even rarer. But in Kevin Devine’s pair, Bubblegum and Bulldozer, there is a lyric that does just that. “If ….
Thirty-three-year-old Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Kevin Devine is releasing not one but two new albums, and simultaneously to boot. One, Bulldozer, is a solo effort recorded in LA produced by Elliott Smith collaborator Rob Schnapf, and the other, Bubblegum, a full band effort with support from ….
In song, 33-year-old Kevin Devine calls himself "a non-starter never-was has-been since 2008." In life, he's a Kickstarter, leveraging a decade in the indie-rock trenches to fan-fund two good new albums: Bubblegum is the noise-pop one; Bulldozer is the articulate singer-songwriter one, produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith). Devine takes on gentrification ("Now: Navigate!") and writes with resilient empathy about Hurricane Sandy ("From Here"). No amount of FEMA assistance could restore power to his personal life (the elegantly depressive "Safe").
Kevin Devine is going it alone these days. Not musically, so much, as he’s never short of collaborators to tag in and out of his various efforts. But, in just about every other respect, he’s operating largely as a one-man operation. He’s releasing his own music through his newly-minted Devinyl Records imprint, crowdsourcing via Kickstarter to fund the release of his records, and even doing the lion’s share of the legwork on the promotional front.