Words: Riley Fitzgerald
Band image: Ruby Gabe Varbørton and Bridghid Russell
Brisbane’s Devotions have recently emerged onto the scene, keeping movement inconspicuous and humble, but hooking us instantly with their first (and currently only) track, ‘Nil By Mouth’. Lush and engrossing, ‘Nil By Mouth’ is as enchanting an introduction as one could hope, and we’re already craving more.
Devotions introduce their debut song ‘Nil By Mouth’ to the world in a moment of brooding ambience. ‘Nil By Mouth’ is moody. Kate Mackenzie’s vocals come heavy with stuck-on-you longing and Luke Zahnleiter’s guitar is talking in the same language. The song takes many a seductive turn – floating dramatically upward to a big and impactful payoff before then collapsing into painful ambiguity.
And isn’t that just always the case? Love is a silly thing. Unlike logic, it’s impractical, doesn’t prove anything and to top it all off is always convincing people of things which are either never going to happen or simply outright untrue. Yet it’s a feeling which, against all better judgment, we end up falling back into time and time again.
How do Devotions sound? Spacious like Beach House and dreamy like David Lynch, maybe a little like HTRK. Not their most recent work, but back in the day when they were working with Rowland S. Howard and really had it going. ‘Nil’ also sits close to shoegaze. And this is not too much of a surprise given that back in 2017 both of Devotions members were briefly playing in shoegaze outfits. Kate played in Brisbane’s FOREVR (as well as the grittier outfit Martyr Privates) and Luke with another local project, Glitter Veils. Listen for yourself:
And that’s just about as much as can be said. This is music more than capable of speaking for itself. But if a final thought can be added, it would be to say that the world could certainly stand to hear a little more of what these two have to offer it. An album would be nice, though an extended player plus a few live shows would be fair enough of a compromise if that isn’t something which is gonna happen. As to whether any this will come to pass there is yet to be any indication. Let’s just hope it does.