Lydia: Devil Album Review

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01. The Exit
02. Runaway
03. Knee Deep
04. Devil
05. Back To Bed
06. Holidays
07. Hurry Back Tonight
08. Now I Know…
09. Take Your Time
10. From A Tire Swing
Things look hopeful for Lydia, an indie rock band from Gilbert, Arizona, who have come back to follow up their 2011 reunion LP, Paint It Golden, with their newest release Devil—released back in March. We find Lydia taking a departure from their classic melancholic aesthetic as seen on 2008’s Illuminate and instead aim for a more upbeat, lighthearted record. Songs are more guitar driven on Devil than we’ve seen from Lydia in the past and with faster paced songs laced with lyrics to match these summer days, the album suggests the complete opposite of its album title.

“She says, “Darling just shave your face, so we can be on our way.”
I might go my own way”

Opening with “The Exit”, the track creates a grand introduction to Devil with the usage of layered vocals and a choir to give the song a bigger than life quality. Vocalist Leighton Antelman sings softspokenly, “You look scared again/Just sing it out loud, it’ll sound like this” followed by a bounty of oh’s to bring even the most anxious Cowardly Lion to the realization of their inner Wizard of Oz courage. The song’s driving guitars and cleverly vivid lyrics showcase what Lydia do best in three and a half minutes which will always be personal anecdotes told through layers of swirling vocals and melodic instrumentation.

“I’ve been thinking of leaving, Would you ever come with me?” There’s a clear depth that can be heard throughout Devil. The hooks and melodies are plentiful and the lyrics are as heartwarming and personal as they’ve ever been with Lydia but there seems to be a newfound focus that wasn’t quite there with Paint It Golden. The introspective lyricism throughout Devil could very well have been a cathartic experience for Antelman during the writing process because listening through this album, it puts you into a comfortable, serene mindset that we can only hope the members of Lydia were also in during the making of this album.

Listening to “Back To Bed”, this serene feeling is brought to life with the most upbeat of melodies heard on the album with lyrics to match. Its jubilant piano and heartfelt lyrics evoke nothing but a joyous love for life as Antelman sings “Let’s make a toast to it” followed by a sincere laugh and a string of whistles, making “Back To Bed” a sure crowd pleaser if played live. “Holidays” becomes an album highlight with its slick guitar lines and mesmerizing lyrics that will have listeners subconsciously nodding yes, answering the songs final question of “Would you ever come with me?”

With Devil it seems happy days are here again for Lydia. They’ve created an album replete with reflective lyrics while embracing a more playful sound. The album is 10 tracks of solid lyricism and catchy melodies to make long time listeners of Lydia proud of where this band is going with their musical direction.

Lydia is Leighton Antelman, Justin Camacho, Matt Keller, Craig Taylor.


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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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