I stumbled across Devon Williams when thoroughly examining excellent Washington label Slumberland’s latest additions to their impressive 20+ year roster. Having released two full-lengths, one dated as far back as 2008, L.A based Williams isn’t exactly what you call a newcomer. Still, after a quick glance at his back-catalogue, latest single “Flowers” stand as a decisive leap forward. A partial credit for this is owed to Jorge Elbrecht who was brought in to handle production. This decision gives the track a casual, breezy psychedelic feel recognizable from Elbrecht stunning collaboration with Ariel Pink on last year’s “Hang On to Life”. Despite this, Williams seems in full control of what happens here.
On first impression it’s a lazy choice tagging “Flowers” as conservative dream-pop, and sure enough, when listening closer, an abundance of startling details and clever choices are narrowed into focus. Williams – the one-time punk singer – proves to own an infallible ear for melody that repeatedly throws the listener off balance. On “Flowers” Williams shines as a unique songwriter who understand how to balance intricate structures with straightforward harmonies. Watch for Devon Williams new album Gilding The Lily, out in June.