“Wild West” indie artist DEVORA fuses dark pop with Western vibes in her potent debut EP, ‘Outlaw.’
Stream: ‘Outlaw’ EP – DEVORA
“Outlaw Pop” is all about going your own way and taking the road less traveled. I do this all the time, and it’s just the way I roll. I’ve stopped caring what people think about me, which I feel like most people do to some extent — it’s only human, and it’s the most liberating feeling ever.
Brought up in the scorching heat of the Arizona desert, DEVORA’s western town roots shaped her into the untamed spirit she is today. Her ever-curious mind and spontaneity have allowed the artist to blossom into a fierce talent. Creating a sound so assertive and spellbinding, it is as if she has set your ears ablaze with a burning fire.
On her debut EP Outlaw (released June 25, 2021 via Tiger Tone Records / [PIAS] Recordings UK) that smoldering heat radiates off every strong track. A definite EP standout is her direct and devious tune “Body Bag.” This riveting release narrating a tale of revenge, takes the listener down her dark plan for payback.
I’ve got a picture to burn.
I’m trying to live, but I’ve learned.
I’ve got one foot in the grave
and one in the mess you’ve made.
Come say it all to my face.
Everything you’ve got to say.
You try to shackle me down,
but I chew through your chains.
The feisty body of work also highlights other bold, energetic pieces. The rough and rowdy “Not Dead Yet” showcases her unapologetic, edgy persona. The title track “Outlaw” emits that same rebellious air. The EP as a whole instantly transports us to a fantasy adventure and we are here for that wild west feel. It is a showdown like only DEVORA can provide. The savage singer is flying solo while kicking butt and taking names. Her no holds barred attitude shown throughout Outlaw makes for a highly courageous offering.
A true trailblazer, DEVORA is all about taking a walk on the wild side, and her charismatic quality reflects that.
Ever since she was young, she has let her creativity shine. Constantly writing poems and short stories, she drew inspiration from her bizarre encounters. Now that inventiveness has transformed into masterful music that is personal and raw. Atwood Magazine spoke with the DEVORA about her sonic style, her debut EP, and much more.
A CONVERSATION WITH DEVORA
Atwood Magazine: You are a dark pop talent oozing with a confident country twang. How did you craft your unique musical style?
DEVORA: I’ve been singing since I could talk and writing “songs” and stories since I was a toddler. My sound has always been distinctly my own. Growing up, I listened to mostly goth, emo, and punk music. I was a part of the goth scene and loved dark music more than anything. Growing up in Arizona I remember having an affinity for country music as well, especially darker country music like Johnny Cash and Fields of the Nephilim. I was constantly wondering why there weren’t younger country/pop artists that were in this darker realm as well. I want to bridge the gap on these genres and bring some angst and anarchy to pop/country/rock music.
The title “outlaw pop” is also used to describe your bold sound. In what ways do you consider yourself a rebel?
DEVORA: Yeah, “outlaw pop” is all about going your own way and taking the road less traveled. I do this all the time, and it’s just the way I roll. I’ve stopped caring what people think about me, which I feel like most people do to some extent — it’s only human, and it’s the most liberating feeling ever. I speak my truth even if it’s uncomfortable. I always try to trust my gut instinct with people, places, opportunities — it’s crucial in everything I do. I always have a sense of inner-knowing that no matter what, everything is going to work out. Everything is going to be alright. Holding on to beliefs like this are what drive me to be fearless in all of my endeavors.
Mentioning rebel, your EP possesses that same wild nature you are known for. What inspired this gritty new collection of songs?
DEVORA: I take my wild emotions and I get them out in song form. Expression through music has always been a cathartic experience for me. As an innate lover of dark music and country music, I’ve always wanted to fuse the two in some way. 2021 Is the year of the goth outlaw!
Holding nothing back, your latest single ''Body Bag'' is one of deep loathing and frustration, detailing your thirst for vengeance. What is the most spiteful thing you have done out of anger?
DEVORA: I really don’t consider myself a spiteful person in any way, I think it’s a really ugly emotion. However, I’m a firm believer that everyone has their breaking points and when pushed to the edge people can do just about anything. I’ve witnessed it and it is dark. I think sometimes the best and most eloquent form of revenge is living your life, moving on and being successful in your endeavors. I’ve learned that sometimes people don’t want what’s best for you. They don’t want to see you succeed. This realization is also dark. I feel that if someone is a bad person and hurts lots of people, it usually means that they are truly hurting, and technically their “punishment” is just being them.
Your dusty, desert visuals showcase impressive choreography and eccentric gothic scenes. How was the concept conceived?
DEVORA: This project is so visual and visceral — the videos and artwork are so important to me. I worked with a couple of very talented female directors for the first two videos, Leven Rambin for “Not Dead Yet” and Bowie Sims for “Body Bag.” I showed them my vision boards and ideas and from there we created a multi faceted visual universe for each video. I’m heavily inspired by directors like Tarantino and surrealist acid-western filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. For the latest video, “Fist Fight” I worked with a very talented cinematographer named Jason Cowan, and we worked together on the vision and the mood. The lighting and overall dark mood of this video is brilliant.
What was your favorite moment when making your new EP?
DEVORA: Man we had such a great time making this EP. Me and my friends/talented producers and songwriters Cass Dillon and Alex Aldi. It was pure madness and beyond fun. Seeing these journal entries, stories, poems that had been swimming around in my mind for so long finally taking their musical form was such a cathartic and gratifying experience.
You were raised in the Arizona desert and that has had a large influence on your music. What are some experiences from your upbringing that have stuck with you the most?
DEVORA: Probably seeing what appeared to be UFOs over the desert. I was brought up around a new age community of people that really took that stuff seriously and had some wild experiences to boot. I used to go to this area called The Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix. These mountains are a hot spot of paranormal activity and have been said to have claimed many lives. There are many legends surrounding these mountains and they are said to hold a “secret” gold mine that many people have died during the process of trying to find.. Some Native Americans claim that these mountains hold the “entrance to hell” and it has also been said that there have been many UFO sightings near these mountains…
Heading into this area on the weekends was a feeling unlike any other. There is definitely a strange energy surrounding these mountains that I have felt nowhere else I’ve ever been. These were my fun little weekend outings in high school… While most kids my age were trying to find drugs, I was trying to find a way into these hell portal mountains.
On the topic of influences, who are some musical talents you really admire?
DEVORA: Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails are a huge inspiration for me. I will always be obsessed. Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac…just to name a few.
I understand a pastime of yours is exploring strange places. What would you say is the weirdest spot you have visited?
DEVORA: I LOVE urban exploration and exploring abandoned structures/buildings/relics is a hobby of mine. Weirdest spot I ever visited was an abandoned mental asylum in upstate New York. It was beyond fun. Chernobyl is definitely on my list!
Finally, who are some artists on your current playlist you can recommend to our readers?
DEVORA: Ethel Cain is a sick new artist whose music and lyrics are so haunting, dark and poignant…yet her melodies are shoe-gazey and ethereal and beautiful. I can’t get enough of her. YONAKA is a badass new artist I discovered lately. Colter Wall is a dark country artist with some dark grooves that I love.
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📸 © Lei Phillips
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