Devin Tait earned his musical stripes as a member of queercore band, Shitting Glitter, back in the early 2000s. His latest single, ‘By My Side’, is from his forthcoming album, ‘Art Damage’, and reflects the UK artists of the 1980s who are at the core of his inspiration.
Devin Tait, from Los Angeles, started out in the SoCal music scene performing with the melodic queercore band, Shitting Glitter, which he co-founded, and was formed way back in 2001. They released three albums while he was with the group, and their musical style had more of a punk edge to it, whereas the music of Tait’s solo career pays homage to the likes of Human League, Scritti Politti, Duran Duran, and Siouxsie & The Banshees.
‘By My Side’ is a very Human League style track, in fact you could imagine it was actually Phil Oakey behind the mic. Tait feels strongly about lyrics – there’s something about the pop songs from the 80s which will never age – the storytelling lyrics are just one part of this, and Tait has that down to an artform. In ‘By My Side’ his accompanying vocalist raps the following lyrics, which when combined with the synth instrumentation ably conveys the serious tone of the song:
I’ll be there when your whole world shake, shakes
Even when your heart heart aches aches
You will never you will never slide slide
Always gonna have you by my side
Instrumentally as well, Tait’s musical prowess is clear: the synth playing done by hand; not just created on the computer. ‘By My Side’ is an eminently danceable track too – Starting out slowly, with just keys, he swiftly adds each instrument one by one until about the middle of the song where it becomes a full on dance number. It’s fairly obvious that Tait has done his research well and produced a track that is not merely an 80s “style” track, but one which to the untrained ear could be something *from* that era.
Devin combines analogue synth sounds with heavy beats and multi-layered vocals, and enriches the sound with a vibe that can only come from LA. He reminds us a lot of Peppermint Heaven, whose own 80s flavoured pop is woven with the Los Angeles sound. One wonders what Tait would have done if he’d been making music in the 80s.
‘By My Side’ is the latest track from the forthcoming album, ‘Art Damage’, and follows on from ‘Anyone Can Break Someone’s Heart’, which features vocals by drag queen extraordinaire, Wendy Ho, as well as a dance remix by Scott Anderson, and video by West Hollywood DJ, rockstar, and visual artist, Jasten King.
Fans in Los Angeles can attend the launch of ‘Art Damage’ on 5 March. See here for further details.