Rhythm & Views


DeVotchKa's most recent release, How It Ends, was recorded here in town at WaveLab, and is even more desert-scorched than their previous records; you'd never know that DeVotchKa calls Denver home. Nick Luca lends a traditional Mexican-style guitar to "You Love Me" and "We're Leaving," and Naim Amor sings on "Viens Avec Moi." The songs rage with filmic flair, with the kind of density that develops when you mix traditional and modern melodies, throw in a variety of instruments and musicians to play them, and bring to boil.

DeVotchKa is expert at augmenting their usual arsenal of violin, tuba, accordion, drums and guitar with bowed vibes, piano, theremin, horns, vibraphone and glockenspiel, among other things. The title track, "Dearly Departed" and "Too Tired" are all beautiful examples of this accenting, while "The Enemy Guns" and "Such a Lovely Thing" showcase the classic DeVotchKa instrumentation. There are moments of pure apocalypse on How It Ends: "Twenty-Six Temptations" features a tuba bass line under violin and piano, and by the time vocalist and guitarist Nick Urata raises the chorus, the tuba has become a creature of Gehenna.

How it Ends slinks dramatically into swirls of Old World- and Mexican-influenced orchestration; DeVotchKa stands proudly atop the peak of cathartic, tragic climax, fires of guitars and strings and full-body vocals blazing.

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