By Isaiah Gatlin
Growing up in the desert heat of Arizona, Devora spent most of her time singing and writing songs. Some of her biggest influences include Johnny Cash and Fields of the Nephilim. On June 25, 2021, self-proclaimed “Goth Dolly Parton,” Devora debuted a mixture of sultry, dark, and femme fatale tones in her debut EP Outlaw.
Of course, Devora continues to remain true to the western themes that have followed her from childhood. However, this EP has a twist. Here, in Outlaw, country music meets pop, but even further meets darkness. This is why many have described the new sound as “Outlaw Pop.”
Devora’s brave attempt at genre-bending ultimately proves to be successful. With only five tracks living on the EP, Devora transports listeners into her grim wild west fantasy. The overall sound is similar to that of a grunge Kacey Musgraves.
Standout tracks include “Body Bag,” “Outlaw,” and “Not Dead Yet.”
“Body Bag,” tells the story of a woman wronged in need of vengeance. It’s freedom from the societal norm to bottle emotions is cathartic and liberating. With its country twang, pop vocals, and of course the slight insinuation of murder; “Body Bag” is a perfect example of the “outlaw pop” genre.
“Outlaw,” being the title track of the album, sets the tone for the entire EP. Devora paints the landscape of a grim southwest America. She reimagines the Arizona deserts she grew up in as mere sets of an old Hollywood cowboy film set. Here, she’s able to tell a story that correlates with her own life while still dabbling with the fantasy versus reality theme of the album.
The bridge is more of a monologue than vocals, but the message is a complete embodiment of the EP itself. Devora speaks of a return to the past and refusing to be apologetic for her mistakes.
“Not Dead Yet” is a self-proclaimed “salute to outlaws.” A tribute to those who walk the dangerous road. The fast-paced beat resembles an action sequence in a wild west film. Devora speaks to her resilience in this track with the idea that in the face of adversity she prevails while refusing to conform to societal expectations.
With her debut EP, Devora proves gothic themes can exist simultaneously within country-pop. Her strides to create a place in country music for women who don’t always want to sing about love and heartbreak are successful. Her storytelling is vivid and raw. We can only wait and see what Devora will come up with next.
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