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Julia Holter x gorilla vs. bear takeover: DEVIN HOFF

photo: bettina escauriza
photo: bettina escauriza

Corey introduced me to Devin, and my life changed lol jk well kind of true though. His approach to playing bass (and music in general) is truly special—a combination of rich gliding-tone melodic+harmonic sensibility and an incredibly steady and focused inner pulse. He’s been on all my recordings since Loud City Song, and his playing is the reason I always turn up the bass up more than normal in my mixes. In “Underneath the Moon” and “Why Sad Song”, you can hear how his lines are so expressive and beautiful and mysterious, sometimes a bit to me like beautiful unpredictable human speech and utterances, blending somewhere in between the viola and the percussion. I had some confusion about what to do with the song “Les Jeux to You” on Aviary when we tried recording the verses in the studio (the choruses we did use the studio recordings for), so I took it home and took out everything we tried in the studio and just recorded it on piano. Then I sent it to Devin with just some basic instruction/comments and he came back with the soulful melodic lines you hear on the verses of the song—his performance and writing there really is mostly responsible for the intense seeking/mysterious vibe of the verses. Another one of a million Devin moments that is very important to me is his performance on “Have You In My Wilderness” (the track)—his solo is heartbreaking. Devin’s work in music as player but also composer, songwriter, and improviser, and also his longtime study of history is very inspiring to me. — Julia Holter

Here is a truly stunning collection of songs on bass that Devin wrote and recorded in 2016: https://devinhoff.bandcamp.com/album/beautiful-radiant-things-2

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