Tirzah – Devotion
With Devotion, Tirzah and Micachu have created something fiercely unique, relatable and of the moment
A firm name in London’s underground scene, Tirzah teams up with her childhood friend and longtime collaborator Micachu, aka Mica Levi, on her debut album Devotion. Sparse, open and beautifully dispersed, it’s the pop album you didn’t know you needed.
Devotion takes a step away from the club-ready dance tracks Tirzah and Micachu have created together in the past, instead swaying in a more lo-fi direction, with a kind of intimacy that could rival Frank Ocean’s Blonde. Tirzah’s vocals are delivered with an effortless cool, blending seamlessly with subtle yet intricate production on an album that has just the right amount of breathing space.
The rawness and vulnerability of Tirzah’s vocals give her lyrics added poignance, as she details the breakdown of a relationship. 'I was standing in the light looking for the shadow / And you only got the night / Don’t be lonely,' she sings on the heartbreaking Affection, accompanied only by a piano loop and chopped up vocal samples. On the album’s title track her fast-paced delivery almost descends into rapping: 'I want candlelight / And romantic notion / I want your hands around me / And understanding.'
A breadth of textures and influences are explored in the album’s production, and they’re spread out far and wide. Future club sounds take centre stage on Do You Know; compressed drum samples and funky keys guide Holding On; Guilty opens with proggy guitars before melding Tirzah’s distorted vocals with Eastern-influenced strings; and Go Now is a 90s meets nu-R’n’B wonder.
Much like Ocean’s Blonde, Devotion unfolds and unravels in different ways upon each listen, giving you everything but never too soon. With it, Tirzah and Levi have created something fiercely unique, relatable and of the moment; one of the most crucial pop records of the year. [Nadia Younes]
Listen to: Do You Know, Holding On, Go Now