Devon Williams brought his Euphoria tour to the Comet Tavern last night. His new album (his second) just out on Slumberland is full of intricate and lushly textured songs. The guy obviously is a student of the 80’s. Euphoria is an understated winner that I recommend heartily to fans of the Church, Modern English, East River Pipe and the Icicle Works. It’s an easy record to like combining Williams’ big sounding songs with his plaintive delivery that strips them of any pretentiousness.
As I was standing in the somewhat redesigned Comet (the place actually has a stage with space for an entire band can stand) watching them play, a couple things came to mind. I liked the extra muscularity that his five piece band brought to the songs even though some of the instrumental flourishes, had to be given up in the live versions of the songs. The second was how much they reminded me of Prefab Sprout. Not that Mr. Williams sings like Paddy McAloon, but his songs have this undeniable sense of hope and optimism while at that same time sounding sad. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s a great trick if you can pull it off as a songwriter and Devon Williams did exactly that last night. He and his band played a for about half an hour and seemed to enjoy every minute of it and the handful of us in the audience did as well.
Both songs are from Williams’ album Euphoria, available now from Slumberland.
Here are the remaining dates for his west coast tour:
THU 9/8 – Sacramento, CA @ Luigi’s Slice Fungarden
FRI 9/9 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
SAT 9/10 – Los Angeles, CA @ House Show
SUN 9/11 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar