Kevin Devine
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Kevin Devine Biography

"These songs helped me figure out what I thought about the last year of my life," says Kevin Devine. "I tend to write things down first and then, later, figure out what they were really about. In the last year, I got a lot a little dark with some personal things and now I'm trying to grow up a little and not be such a petulant brat.

Ghost is 26-year-old Devine's major label debut, after releasing three widely-acclaimed albums on independent labels - Circle Gets the Square (2001), Make the Clocks Move (2003), and Split The Country, Split The Street (2005). These twelve songs, produced by Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck) and featuring Devine's friends and colleagues known as the Goddamn Band, represent a sharpening of Devine's raw, evocative lyrics, and should help establish him as one of the leading songwriters of his generation. For the Brooklyn native, the album represents the culmination of several different strains in his musical upbringing.

As Put Your Ghost to Rest came together, Devine realized that there was a through line that was emerging. He knew that he wanted to open the album with the confessional "Brooklyn Boy," a song that he wrote during last year's Hotel Cafe tour. "I was trying to figure out a way to be unflinching about some of the experiences I had, friendships that dissolved and my role in that," he says. "After that, it moves almost chronologically to the last song, 'Heaven Bound & Glory Be,' which is about someone looking around and taking stock and being really afraid of what their government is up to - that if there's a breakdown of civility in government, it trickles down to everyday life. That song ends with cautious optimism, trying to find something in the most basic level of relating to one other person."

In the last few years, Kevin Devine has toured extensively alongside a wide range of artists. This work demonstrates the widespread appeal and breadth of his songs â€" the potential now being focused and realized on Putting the Ghost to Rest. This stage experience has also helped reshape some of his thinking.

"Coming up in the hardcore scene in Staten Island, where I grew up, we always cultivated a real us-against-them thing," he says, "and I've learned that's really narrow and defeatist. I learned that I can go and play with these different kinds of people - with Corinne Bailey Rae or Cursive and Bright Eyes or Brand New or the Hotel Café dudes - and I'm lucky I can do that. You just do your thing, present yourself your way, and you'll be fine."


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