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"). But he renders aging Pavement-boy blues with a languid tunefulness. Now and again, he even kinda rocks.
From The Archives Issue 1194: October 24, 2013