a lot of influences here
heavy on the Arcade Fire
strange use of multiple instruments
made the buy list

Grade - 1.8

released Mar 1st, 2011

from the album - All The Sand In All The Sea - 2.5


from all music


The Gypsy-tinged quartet DeVotchKa were formed in Denver, CO by multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion), Jeanie Schroder (sousaphone, bass), and percussionist Shawn King. Supporting musicians rotated in and out of the eclectic group's lineup, contributing such diverse sounds as strings and bazoukis. While some described DeVotchKa's sound as polka-rock or circus music, the band was actually a cross-pollination of numerous influences, including cabaret, spaghetti Westerns, and the immigrant dance music of Eastern Europe. Supermelodrama, their self-released 2000 debut, garnered numerous accolades, and the band toured in support of the record with such luminaries as Calexico, 16 Horsepower, Flogging Molly, and Archer Prewitt. Una Volta followed in May 2003. Issued by the Boulder, CO indie Cicero, DeVotchKa promoted the album through a tour with noted burlesque/fetish entertainer Dita Von Teese. Their solid third album, How It Ends, was released in 2004, followed by Curse Your Little Heart, an EP of covers that included Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Last Beat of My Heart" and the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs." In 2006, they composed the lush score for Little Miss Sunshine, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack. In March of 2008, the band's most mature release, A Mad and Faithful Telling, hit the shelves, reaching the number nine slot on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. In 2011 the group released its sixth studio album, the moody and triumphant 100 Lovers.

Album Review

Fresh off a worldwide tour that saw the group perform in front of nearly 80,000 people at the Stade de France as the opening act for Muse, Denver-based Gypsy-alt-rock outfit Devotchka have managed to find a nice middle ground between world domination and underground anonymity since their 1997 inception as a burlesque backing band. The group’s sixth studio album still relies heavily on the Eastern European-infused, heavily cinematic -- you can hear the influence of the band’s recent stints in the world of film music (Little Miss Sunshine, I Love You Philip Morris) throughout 100 Lovers' 45-minute run time -- chamber pop of past efforts, but there are some new elements at play here. IMAX-sized opener “The Alley” rolls in like a thunderous qawwali prayer, you can practically hear the strings of firecrackers bouncing around the pavement on the mariachi-drenched “Contrabanda,” and “Bad Luck Heels” flirts with Brazilian forro and goes home with Bollywood. Throughout it all, bandleader Nick Urata croons and wails and the wild percussion, seemingly random tango-fueled arpeggios, and instrumental segues pile up, which can get a little exhausting when taken straight through. It’s a melting pot to be sure, and the band has a tendency to go heavy on the atmosphere and light on the hooks, but there’s never any doubt that it’s a brew tended over by some awfully talented cooks.

Track Listing

1 The Alley 5:04
2 All the Sand in All the Seas 4:50
3 100 Other Lovers 4:11
4 The Common Good 4:26
5 The Man from San Sebastian 0:39
6 Exhaustible 3:44
7 Bad Luck Heels 3:30
8 Ruthless 0:23
9 Contrabanda 4:14
10 Sunshine 4:48