Written Friday, July 5
Devours has upped his game in every way with Iconoclast, the follow up to 2016’s Late Bloomer (also a good album). His singing, song composition, and lyricism have all taken a big step forward on this new album. It’s exciting to witness his growth and development as an artist. Jeff Cancade has created a sound that is so unique to him, so instantly recognizable. It’s great to hear that sound evolve and progress while still maintaining its character and distinctness.
The album is great from start to finish, a work that feels truly complete and nuanced. Too often these days albums feel like a disjointed collection of songs. That’s not the case with Iconoclast. It sounds fine-tuned and laboriously crafted with love. Every song seems to flow into the next seamlessly. It really feels like a cohesive unit.
Lyrically, Devours is better than ever. He’s making bold statements about his sexuality as a gay man, about religion, complicated relationships, and masculinity. On Beyond Love and Beneath You he boldly proclaims “No God would deny me of love”. On Taxidermy the Musical, perhaps the most obvious statment song on the album, he proclaims “I’m flaming and I’m happy as fuck. And if it’s not enough you’ll know exactly where I stand. And if it’s not enough, show me what it takes to be a man.” On a side note, the outro to this song is probably my favourite moment on the whole disc.
One thing that sticks out on this album is his newfound ability to create very serene and beautiful sonic landscapes. At the end of Beyond Love and Beneath You and the end of Taxidermy the Musical, as well as the outro to the album, a hidden song, he creates these lush and cinematic interludes that give the album a sense of gravitas and epicness.
Most importantly there isn’t a moment of this album that doesn’t feel deeply personal. Everything about the identity and sound that Devours has developed gives you the sense that you’re actually peering into the brain of Jeff Cancade. It takes a lot of courage and guts to put yourself out there so fully and completely. It’s a risk to make yourself so vulnerable to the world. It’s what makes this album not just good but great. And it makes Devours one of the artists whose career I’m most excited to follow.
Listen to the album here: