DEVIN JAMES FRY EPK
INDUSTRY USE ONLY
 

VIDEOS

BLACK RAINBOW
ft. Chris Conde

  • YouTube

(WATCH BLACK RAINBOW ON YOUTUBE)

PURPLE GLUE

PURPLE GLUE
featuring The Jitter Getter,
an analog horror sound effects generator

  • YouTube

(WATCH  PURPLE GLUE ON YOUTUBE)

LISTEN TO RETRELLION

LISTEN TO RETRELLION INSTRUMENTALS

MERCH

BLACK RAINBOW COLORING BOOK

PURPLE GLUE INCENSE

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BLACK RAINBOW SOAP
by BEANBLOSSOM SOAPS

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PURPLE GLUE LATHECUT SINGLE

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BLACK RAINBOW LATHECUT SINGLE

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RETRELLION 11 x 17" POSTER

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PURPLE GLUE MATCHBOOKS

COMING SOON:

RETRELLION LP
JITTER GETTER VOTIVE CANDLES
JITTER GETTER EMBROIDERED PATCH
"JITTERS GOT" ENAMEL PIN

 

WORDS on RETRELLION

"I'm following Michael Pollan's advice for people who are tripping," says Devin James Fry of his new album Retrellion, "which is to go toward the thing that scares you."

For Fry, that means electronics.  The synthesized textures of Retrellion are a departure for Fry, who until recently was most often seen fingerpicking his grandfather's 1958 Gibson guitar onstage in Austin, TX, alone or fronting rock band Name Sayers.  The sights of him commanding a bank of synthesizers, pedals, and his handmade analog horror sound effects engine The Jitter Getter, as he does in the video for new single "Purple Glue," or trading verses with Brooklyn rapper Chris Conde, as in the colorful video for "Black Rainbow," are something new. 

There were always signs this could happen.  Otherworldly synths skirted the periphery of Radicans, Fry's rootsy 2020 collaboration with Palestinian oud master Sari Andoni.  And Name Sayers recordings have dipped into industrial electronics from time to time, usually as a final layer atop the muscular live instrumentation for which the band is known.

Unforgivingly concise, punchy, and poignant, the eight songs on Retrellion lean on unlikely, thoughtful hooks swimming through synth heavy, head-nodding, hip hop-inflected sonic spaces that defy genre classification.

Early reviews have noted the shift.  "Is this post-punk hip hop?  We hope so," quipped reviewer Layla Merino of yourEDM.com, noting that in scratching his digital itch, "Fry might even be creating new genres."

"Old friends are dismayed sometimes, but I've found I'm pretty much allergic to nostalgia," says Fry, "and never satisfied with my own music for long.  I can shake my ass at a new song of mine for a while, but then it's on to the next.  I don't sit around listening to my own records."

During the extended break from performing provided by COVID quarantine, Fry assembled a bank of synthesizers, pedals, and drum machines. "Time flew by when I went into headphones.  I disappeared into these songs."

The album's title acknowledges that disappearance, as Fry explains:  "I read that people respond to breakdowns in societal norms -- also called anomie -- in 5 ways: conformism, innovation, ritualism, retreat, and rebellion.  I wanted a word that felt like both retreat and rebellion."

 

Retrellion was born.  Some songs are solo explorations, like opener Somebody's Grapefruit, wherein Fry links garden variety heartbreak to the practice, common among newbie tattoo artists, of using grapefruit skin as a test canvas.  "Once you were the tattooist," he delivers in a glitched-out baritone, "now you're ink and blood and juice."

For other songs, Fry found ready collaborators in the hop hop community. Black Rainbow sees Fry and Brooklyn rapper Chris Conde focused on questions of perception and meaning, while the slow grind of "No Hope" finds reclusive Colorado rapper Otem Rellik delivering the thoughtful, unhurried verses for which he is known.

One song carries the weight of tragedy.  Fry explains: "ever since I met and befriended Dean Young in 2008, I have been trying to adapt his poem Ash Ode to music.  I must have tried ten times, and I've never been satisfied.  This time I recruited another mentor of mine, Chicago native Lloyd Brodnax King, to help.  Between Lloyd's playing and a sparse new arrangement, finally, after nearly 15 years, I felt I had something worthy of the poem."

"I texted Dean the day it was finished, to share.  I'm reasonably sure he received it, because he texted back to say he was looking forward to listening."

Unbeknownst to Fry, Young was messaging from his deathbed.  "That was the last I heard from Dean.  I'm very sad not to have him around any more.  But I suppose mysterious is the way he would have wanted to leave it.  Dean loved abrupt endings."

Merchandise for Retrellion is as offbeat and finely crafted as the music, and includes multiple lathecut 7" singles, a 16-page coloring book for Black Rainbow, Purple Glue incense, and luscious bars of Black Rainbow soap -- a collaboration with Beanblossom Soaps.  "I like the music to stimulate multiple senses," says Fry.

Instrumentals from the record will be heard setting the tone for Season 4 of History Colorado's award-winning Lost Highways podcast, for which Fry has been asked to provide the soundtrack.  The new season, which is in production now, is set to begin airing in January of 2023.

No release date has yet been set for the album. According to Fry: "With Retrellion coming together at the same time as Name Sayers' next record, I want to put all of this music into the world as thoughtfully as I can, and it may take a while."

Send all inquiries to devin@devinjamesfry.

INTERVIEWS

PRESS

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Out there with his weirdness in the best possible way."

Global Dance Electronic

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"A wandering soul unafraid of the dark."

KUTX 98.9 (Austin, Texas)

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"Somewhere between a horror film an an Americana answer to a young Nick Cave."

Los Angeles Times

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"A musical shape-shifter ...
has moved from
a lighter sound
to something
more psychedelic,
something heavier." 

WBEZ Chicago

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Like Leonard Cohen on a DMT vision quest."

The Austin Chronicle

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"Delivers a bitches brew of sound ... Fry's deep tenor imbues lyrics with ominous flavors, giving an eerie, radioactive flow."

Tattoo.com

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"Far from the typical artist ... really, really, taking it there with his creations.

Breaking And Entering

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"Multi instrumentalist & musical shaman."

OVRLD

PHOTOS

OTHER RECENT RELEASES

WITH PALESTINIAN OUD MASTER SARI ANDONI

WITH NAME SAYERS

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Devin James Fry is a musician and producer in Denver, CO. He is vocalist and songwriter for the art rock band Name Sayers, and formerly led the psychedelic Americana outfit Salesman

 

Fry is also owner and operator of The Sharpist, a surgical sharpening firm.

Fry is currently putting finishing touches on a synth-heavy solo album titled RETRELLION. Two songs from that project, PURPLE GLUE and b-side NO HOPE, are out now. NO HOPE is a collaboration between Fry and rapper and circuit bender Otem Rellik, and features harmonies by esteemed Denver vocalist Nat Tate.

Previously, in 2020, several years of collaboration with Palestinian oud master Sari Andoni yielded RADICANS, a mingling of Arab and American psychedelic and folk music influences.