Le Fou: An Exercise in Timeless Art

Devan DuBois, the elusive man or the music industry’s best kept secret; either is accurate especially when you’re trying to do any research on him. There’s information scattered here and there but it’s vague at best.

Credit Chuck D Willis
Credit Chuck D Willis

Born in Louisiana, Devan has lived in LA and now resides in Nashville; he is part Filipino, part Indian; he has a penchant for black and white, hats and The Great Gatsby; he is signed to Sensibility Music (The Civil Wars, Sacco and Joy Williams); and his debut album Le Fou was released in August.

This however may not be a bad thing in an era of social media over share. Knowing nothing about a person allows the music to become the most important thing in the room rather than how many selfies with cats they have on Instagram.

Le Fou is an all round timeless piece of work. It can be listened to as a whole story or you can go through and pick out your favourites. The album switches between folk sensibilities and slick guitar grooves and distortion. It’s genreless but if I had put it in a box I’d call in Americana. Le Fou takes inspiration from the best pieces of music throughout the decades, whilst still being unique and very much Devan’s own creation.

My Top 5 Tracks

  1. “Long Live”, which is the first single, is full of soft vocals, amazing guitars and distortion. The sound is grand and if the music video is anything to go by, the track epitomizes cool.
  1. “Other Lovers” has a fun and rootsy feel to it, something you could see yourself dancing to at a party.
  1. “DLMGL” is a beautiful, pleading love song where the protagonist is begging to be loved, no matter how badly, as he can’t be without his girlfriend. I love this because there is such a mix in sounds and influences, which could have made the song too crowded, but it works so incredibly well and adds to general feel of the song.
  1. “Too Many Aces” is the darker, more confident brother of ‘DLMGL’ with the lyrics telling the story of a lover whose had enough of being treated badly and is leaving the relationship once and for all.
  1. “Anita” may well be my favourite off the album. It’s similar to ‘Other Lovers’ but slower; something you’d listen to on the ride home with the windows rolled down. I particularly love the chorus of background vocals, which add a kind of gospel vibe to the song.

Le Fou is definitely a record I will be carrying with me for a long, long time and it will undoubtedly mean different things to me at different points on my journey, but that to me is the truest test of an artist; timeless versatility.

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