You may not be all that familiar with the name Devon Williams just yet, but if there’s any justice in the world you should be seeing it quite a lot when the end-of-year lists start rolling out. On August 30th, the excellent Slumberland label will release the follow-up to L.A. wunderkind Williams’ 2008 debut Carefree: Euphoria, an appropriately named slice of pop perfection that leans on flower-powered folk, jangling ’80s power pop and the same soft rock stylings that also inspired Destroyer’s awesome Kaputt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dan Bejar is already a fan, having previously hand-picked Williams as a touring buddy and hooked him up with long-term studio collaborator David Carswell who – along with Violens’ Jorge Elbrecht – produces here. But the Destroyer frontman might want to start looking over his shoulder; Euphoria is, at this point, the only serious challenge to Kaputt‘s “album of the year” title. From the dizzying rush of “Revelations” through to the lost John Hughes movie theme “La La La La” via a couple of lush, orchestral Pet Sounds homages (“Tired Of Mulling”, “Slight Pain”), Williams’ romantic, intelligent songwriting covers all bases, from brooding (“How Is There Always Room?”) to, well, euphoric (“Favor Tree”, “Right Direction”). Euphoria may look to the past – doo-wop, psychedelia, new wave, C86 – but it’s the work of a prodigious talent, and one with a very bright future.
Listen: “Your Sympathy” http://soundcloud.com/slumberland-records/devon-williams-your-sympathy
Euphoria is out August 30th on Slumberland