The work of Devin Balram exists in a wonderfully gauzy atmosphere of pop fluidity, folk honesty and indie rock veracity. Balanced perfectly between a wild host of influences and the experiences upon which those sounds lay, his music is heartfelt but not overly sentimental, intensely personal but also universal in its emotional connectivity. He’s a storyteller and a songwriter in the classical sense, an artist intent on using his craft to pass on a particular knowledge and its associated histories to the next generation of musicians.
But he’s not simply a casual observer, Balram actively engages with the world as it is and digs through all the mess and joy and terrible things we go through every day to find those moments which bind us together, when our desire for connection and understanding overrides our societal inhibitions and explores the profound affections we share with one another.
Balram’s new single, “Hold On, Honey,” is a startling vision of pop and a look at how it can root down deep into the fabric of our existence to reveal a fundamental truth about our place in the world. Do we add something to this garish landscape or pass by in relative anonymity? Taking inspiration from artists such as Twin Shadow and TV on the Radio, he messes around with aspects of indie pop, R&B, and a few other genres too warped to identify. The song is buoyant and embraces these wonderfully malleable pop melodies in a way few artists do, resulting in a sound that’s as infectious as it is uplifting.
“‘Hold On, Honey’ is an extension of hope,” Balram explains. “It’s the idea that joy takes going through and doing the work of encountering our wilderness that life throws at us. I wanted my contribution to the rest of us to be something that is hopeful, but honest about how things break and how we are often the cause of that breaking.”