Fire in the brain
By Steffen Armstrong
Mal Devisa (AKA Deja Carr) has inadvertently invented the perfect way to describe that unshakeable burning addiction to a new song. "Fire in the brain", it's a lyric taken from her equally unshakeable album Kiid, released earlier this month. It's an album not really like any other I've heard. Well, for starters, as I pointed out to Mal myself, it portrays the kind of age old reflective song writing which would find itself very much at home in a small smoky dim lit theatre. That's the opening track Fire or Live Again. But then all of this is suddenly blown away by something so strong, and powerful, like FAT or the album ending Dominatrix, which requires a stage, and a bloody big festival one at that.
"There wasn't a dream for audience or the delivery. The only way the album was ever going to be released was if I learned how to ignore what others had dreamed it up to be or what others would think of it. White Voyeurism has already attached itself very adamantly to the record, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out".
It becomes increasingly difficulty to describe Mal Devisa without talking about the three things which make any great song writer; lyrics, voice and delivery. Rarely do all three come together as the "package deal" and rarely do they come together with such abundance and creativity. There are comparisons to be made to other great song writers such as Joanna Newsom, but then that isn't quite fair, because Mal also offers quite the Hip Hop and Rock flair too; the dark, seductive side heard in tracks such as Daisy. But no matter the style of the song, the lyrics, voice and delivery are always of the highest quality on Kiid.
"Blackness expands! There is an urgency I feel that I definitely don't know how to articulate. Hopefully this isn't a one person journey. It was a really strange, beautiful, taxing, tear-inducing experience. I just need someone to donate a large amount of money so I don't have to do another gofundme.no jerks".
To portray this we can look at each three aspects individually on the album. The lyrics in every song translate as a close, personal meaning, tattooed to the heart, evoking the most beautiful metaphors and ideas. Take the following line in the beautiful, meandering Sea Of limbs;
If you swim in a sea of limbs,
Don't be surprised when someone tries to grab you.
They might drag you down like an anchor tattoo,
Keep your eyes open I promise you're solid gold.
Then there's the voice which needs very little explaining. It's transition between the registers is soft and effortless, at times with moments of gravelly reflectiveness, and at times with moments of shining clarity. The tools any vocalist needs to enable the perfect song execution. Which is where we come to the delivery. Listen to Forget That I. and you'll understand.