Emerging Talent: Tay Devenny

Tay DevennyAlbum Cover by Tay Devenny Words by Billie Jenkins

It’s been a while now since mainstream hip hop grew up and got clever. One young talent emerging under the influence of this more poetical legacy is Tay Devenny. His new alum Shine, sounds like dreamy mash-up of Justin Vernon, David Lynch sounds, and stripped back drum snares overlaid with super smart, super tight lyrics. The first solo project he has released, it feels young, except that I didn’t think like that when I was young; youth is rarely so self-aware. It moves between discussions of changes in self, changes in relationships, and dissects the experiences of growing up in soft spoken but relentless poetics. There is also a large helping of nostalgia, found in the nineties and noughties references, the echoes, as well as the sounds that surround the verses which feel familiar without being recognisable. At first I was tempted to label this as a coming of age album, but the growing pains Tay speaks of are laid bare with a much more considered, singular voice than the phrase would suggest. Moments of disorganisation in the music and poetry are pulled back to clear, calm choruses and the peaceful rhythm found throughout the album is restored. Then again, there is also the sense there is common ground with the repetitive thoughts found in the clarity of too many beers, or walking home late at night. One of the interesting things about the album is how places play a huge role in Tay’s ideas, Arabian Ocean, connections with a girl who remains unnamed, Black and White Lodge, his philosophies are frequently invested in into spaces and objects. The title Shrine itself lends to the idea of something solid, meaningful and manifest rather than concepts hanging in the back of the mind. This for me captures the collection – it’s real, raw and intelligent.

For a while now Tay has been garnering attention from music fans, praise for his work bubbling under the surface of online blogs and chat rooms alike. He also has an upcoming project with Dream Koala, and with the release of Shrine we can only predict more is to come. Check out his album now at www.taydevnny.bandcamp.com

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