Kevin Devine’s recommendation: “There are so many, but this weekend I listened to a lot of Sinead O’Connor (and Nada Surf, but for the sake of this piece, let’s go with Sinead). She’s just so tough, and beautiful, and fearless. Her songs are so strong, and open, and even though there are some production/arrangement choices that I think can skew towards cheesy Enya-isms, she stamps them with enough honesty to make them transcend. She’s punk rock.”
New to Sinéad O’Connor? Kevin recommends you start here: “I’d start with I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. That’s the hit, and for good reason – it has my three all-time favorite songs of hers (Black Boys on Mopeds, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Last Day of Our Acquaintance) AND Nothing Compares 2 U. C’mon. And while some of the sounds haven’t aged well, the songs have. The Gospel Oak EP may be my favorite music she’s made, and Universal Mother is a pretty great record too, but I think this is where you’d point someone looking to get familiar.”
About our guest author, Kevin Devine: You may know Kevin from his days of fronting Miracle of 86 (Mets fans, you get the reference, right?). Since those days, Kevin has toned down his vocals and moved stylistically towards the late, great Elliot Smith, an artist that Kevin says “changed the way I look at writing music.” In fact, Devine snagged Elliot Smith’s producer, Rob Schnapf for his major label debut, Put Your Ghost To Rest. In 2009, Paste Magazine gushed about Devine’s release, Brother’s Blood, saying that Devine’s “…scathing observations and idiosyncratic details leave a disquieting mark.” Devine most recently teamed up with members of Manchester Orchestra to form Bad Books and is set to release his new album, Between The Concrete And Clouds. In the mean time, Kevin continues to play shows and win over new fans.
MP3: She Stayed As Steam by Kevin Devine