TRACK REVIEW: TV Heads - Devotional

Kelly Kirwan

TV Heads have laid down their own credo, and to listen is a baptism in breathy, stacked vocals and the occasional jittery guitar line. It's punk rock diffused across a dark, dreamy landscape. The Los Angeles-based four-piece have said they live off a a steady diet of “post-punk riffs, raw vocals and electro textures,” and by adopting these elements they’ve created a new strain of sound—one that drudges up a certain deja vu of gritty rock n’ roll and surreal dips into neo-psychedelia. Their latest single, "Devotional," seems to splice together, or perhaps teeter between, those two styles. Stretching just over five minutes, the song feels like an odyssey, as spiraling guitar riffs build into static-trimmed crescendos with throbbing percussion. Rich notes splash across the melody like a vibrant hue of paint spattered across a gray canvas.

A feature of "Devotional" is repeated lyrics, which feel like a sly (and ever-so-slightly evolving) mantra. “Not gonna leave / You’re not gonna leave / You’re not gonna,” takes over the chorus as the song passes it’s halfway point, the words taking on a certain defiance. Angelica Tavella’s cadence adopts a slight warble as the guitars create a quick-footed and rippled line across the track. There’s a mounting tension, one that settles in your muscles and leaves you rigid until the frenzied release.

The curious allure of "Devotional" is how it can so swiftly offset the sandpaper touch of post-punk with a softer dream pop. It’s a song that swivels around these polar opposites, and never once loses its grip on our attention.