Kevin Devine Premieres “Both Ways” Music Video
via Brooklyn Vegan
Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band’s Tour To Lollapalooza Starts August 1st
photographer credit: Shervin Lainez
Kevin Devine is premiering his new live music video for “Both Ways” now via Brooklyn Vegan. The video, made by Kenna Hynes and Tiny Ship Co., features live audio and footage from his headlining tour last winter with Pinegrove and Petal. “Both Ways” comes off of Kevin’s 9th studio album Instigator, which was released in October 2016. Instigator is available now physically and digitally via Procrastinate Music Traitors. A quote from Kevin on the meaning behind “Both Ways” can be found below.
Watch Kevin Devine’s Video For “Both Ways” Now.
“I wrote Both Ways in the summer of 2015, before the Trump candidacy had really picked up much ominous steam. It was kind of a more broadly directed critique/assessment of some deeper, more structural issues I’ve had with both parties for some time (though in truth the Republican party’s current radicalism makes the centrist corporate Democratic establishment feel light years preferred, which is a really twisted accomplishement).
I guess it’s about the two faces America wears, about how our mythologizing & relative economic/cultural pole-position & our imperial militarism are inextricably linked, and about what strikes me as tragically & fundamentally hypocritical about Modern American Capitalist Christianity. Those all seemed to live under this larger roof, this idea that you theoretically shouldn’t get to be both things, the bully & the victim, the cop & the robber, the lion & the lamb, and that in claiming both spaces, the center can’t hold, and things fall apart. Which it feels like is happening, at least to me.
That said, nothing is so simple; it was kind of an exercise in being a little more black & white than I ever let myself be, in life or music.
Kenna shot & traveled with Pinegrove the whole run, and we all bonded pretty hard, especially after the election, where the shows became a place for people to feel good or feel scared or heal a bit or commiserate or freak out and these kinds of songs started to feel even more pointed and focused. That trip with them & Julien & Petal and my band – the Prince Brothers – and crew – Carly Hoskins & Megan Benavente – was one of my favorite tours I’ve ever done and it was fun to see Kenna cut it to such vivid effect.”
– Kevin Devine
Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band tour down to Lollapalooza starts August 1st in Lancaster, PA. The band will be touring with The Dig. Tickets for that run of shows is available here. A full list of dates can be found below.
08/01 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club%
08/02 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s%
08/03 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
08/03 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Theatre (Lollapalooza After Show)+
08/04 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig%
08/05 – Columbus, OH – Double Happiness%
09/09 – San Bernardino, CA – High & Low Festival)*
09/14 – Teneack, NJ – Debenoir Music Hall
09/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Xfinity Live!
% = w/ The Dig
+ = w /Whitney
* = w/ Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie
! = w/ Taking Back Sunday
Kevin Devine is used to living life in the gray. For the past 14 years, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has oscillated between As and Bs: intimate acoustic moments and bombastic rock songs; deeply introspective lyrics and sociopolitical charges; the storm cloud and its silver lining.
Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and released via Brand New’s Procrastinate! Music Traitors label in October of 2016, Instigator is Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection Bubblegum and Bulldozer in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 Devinyl Splits 7” series with the likes of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws.
Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator – from the biting power-pop of “Both Ways” and “No Why” to the angular, Nirvana-esque “Guard Your Gates” & gorgeously finger-picked “No One Says You Have To” – with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself.
That sensibility is present on “Freddie Gray Blues,” a harrowing portrait of the events surrounding the 2015 death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police officers. Over haunting acoustic-based talking blues, Devine pays tribute to Gray before digging deep into his own past to reconcile both his privilege and social status as the son, grandson and nephew of NYPD officers. “I don’t think there’s a way for a person in my position to sing that song credibly without talking about why I’m in the room,” he says.
And it’s there on “No History,” a string of personal vignettes centered on the September 11, 2001 attacks. It’s a song made much more meaningful by both the din of the 2016 presidential election and current global climate—a cautionary tale that one moment in time has wildly lasting repercussions.
When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career-defining “I Was Alive Back Then,” the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.
“That’s how I write records,” he continues. “You want to write about real shit. It’s really trying to communicate what I think it’s like to be me—even though I don’t know that all the time—and in the process help people touch a little closer what it’s like to be them, too.”