We've all been stuck in our own thoughts at some point, but it's hard to really capture that feeling. For Tirzah, that feeling seems to come to life with ease. Tirzah gets lost exploring her own mind in Devotion, her curious new record that brings you along for a journey through the artist's thoughts.
The air of curiosity in Devotion is really what drives the record and creates its definitive atmosphere. 'Say When' is one such track, its calming synths and soulful vocals soothing yet echoing out into a white infinity. It's a floating feeling, its weightlessness transitioning to your own senses as it plays. 'Affection' perhaps captures this record's essence the best, its echoing, glitchy pianos and vocals truly feeling like the inner workings of her mind are being laid out in front of you. It's jagged but structured, moving forward with no certain direction. 'Guilty' takes this a step further with distorted guitars now filling the space of the piano. Even the spiraling intro 'Fine Again' can't help but trap you in the endless expanse of her mind.
With curiosity comes uncertainty. There are very few moments on this record where Tirzah sings with certainty, in the sense that she's never quite certain of which direction she's moving in as she explores her thoughts. The only song that rings with any certainty is title track 'Devotion' featuring Coby Sey, coming off as cautionary, almost like a warning to not get too lost in this illusion. Other tracks make their uncertainty clear, like 'Gladly,' which is chill yet restrained as if something is unknowingly holding her back. The haunting atmosphere of 'Basic Need' simply echoes out in all directions, as does the brooding 'Do You Know' and the dynamic, unstructured closing 'Reach.'
Tirzah gets lost exploring her own mind in Devotion and takes you along with her on this directionless journey into a white unknown. The dreamy sense of weightlessness this record has is ethereal but at the same time shows limitations. There are certainly places she wants to go to, but just can't because some unknown force holds her back. Just like all of our minds, there are places we don't want to go. Devotion perfectly captures the very essence of the thoughts flowing through her mind, and creates that imagery stunningly.
Favorite Tracks: Affection, Guilty
Least Favorite Track: Holding On
Rating: 77 / 100
Stream or buy Devotion on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: