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Halifax, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011

Halifax, Canada
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Folk Alternative




"Review – “The Great Escape” – Devarrow"

At a moment in musical history when cheery folk-alternative balladeers are increasingly veering in more experimental and modern directions (see the avant-garde balletic futurism of Patrick Watson’s latest Love Songs for Robots or the darker, exploratory and cynical tone of Dan Mangan’s Club Meds, if not the commercially-groomed electrification of Mumford and Sons) Graham Ereaux (aka. Devarrow) has taken his sophomore LP The Great Escape to a place rooted in the naturalistic simplicity and challenging vastness of the Canadian landscape that stretches between his current home of Vancouver and his roots in Moncton.

Mid-album track “1984” opens with a foreboding sample: “man is a phase of nature, and only as he is related to nature does he matter.” The Great Escape reads like a travelogue that explores this notion, occasionally revelling in the beauty around it while also making note of the trials of long days and bleak nights – as Ereaux does on “Northern Lights.” “Modern Ark” takes us closest to the core of this belief, with its tales of steamboats and woodsmen, river-riding and mining gold. Devarrow writes like a man out of time, searching for the middle ground between the past and the present.

There’s style and character for days in the sound of this record: the vibe is loose, organic and wide-open, the vocals charmingly double-tracked. From a recording and production standpoint, the chosen soundscape makes a pitch-perfect setting for the wider mood of The Great Escape. A sense of welcoming, warm space sits around guitars that blend acoustic chime and overdriven grit in just the right proportions (recalling the tones, if not the frenetic fretwork, of Australian eleven-string wizard John Butler at their more inspired moments.) The drum-work thuds like a boot on a balcony beam, bloomy, snare drum all but replaced by tambourine shakey-shakes. It’s an inviting thing to listen to a record that really feels alive – just listen to the break of electric licks across the chain-clanking rhythms of “Stranger” and you’ll hear what I mean.

That open-chested kick drum, however, points to one of my biggest concerns with The Great Escape: nearly every song on the record builds on the same kind of thump-clap-shake-thump rhythmic pulse with which, it seems, alt-folk acts from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros to Shakey Graves to Shred Kelley to Jake Bugg have previously worn grooves in the floors of various stages. Ereaux’s keen ear for in-song dynamic transitions, his lilting head-voiced vocal delivery (something in which recalls the angelic strains of Robin Pecknold) and his investments in compelling story-crafting – whether bluegrass-y, rollicking, or tender and spare – are dulled by his decisions when it comes down to the broader meta-game of arrangement.

“Vancouver” is a compelling exception to this note: only the album’s third track, it uses an array of clanking, crunching percussive patterns, growls, hisses and skittering staccato acoustics to almost perfectly convey the grime, grind and relentless noisy activity of the big city on a rainy night. Playing the angular soundscape against Ereaux’s ever-rising falsetto makes for a compelling contrast. This inventiveness, combined with the catchy, dirty-blues riffs and a fierce solo section, makes the song a real highlight. It’s a case in point: throughout the album’s length, it is when these creative flashes get the chance to shine through that The Great Escape really does escape the conventions of its alternative-folk peers.

Top Tracks: “Strangers,” “Vancouver”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) - Grayowl Point


Devarrow (aka Graham Ereaux) is what you’d call bi-coastal – originally from New Brunswick but now living in BC. He’s seen a lot more of this country than most of us will ever hope to see. At times he sounds road-weary, but for the most part he’s an undying optimist. Even on the song “Heroin and Rain”, involving a subject that is invariable tragic, he is convinced that, like the rain, his friend will rise again. It’s a refreshing breath of hope in a world of disillusionment.

Ereaux doesn’t exactly explore new musical territories with his folksy, sometimes even rootsy, offerings. But he has a commendable amount of verve, and he frequently adds some lively stomp with the use of drum pedals (even though it’s actually electronic). On the song “Vancouver” he even gets down right urban with a clap and groove beat/rhythm.

Even if you are not a fan of indie folk you are bound to find something to like on this nicely composed and varied record. - Ride the Tempo

"New Music / Free Mp3: DEVARROW – “Little Road” (Folk Rock)"

From Vancouver, BC comes the folk rock musician, Devarrow (Graham Ereaux) and his brand new song “Little Road”. The song belongs to Devarrow’s sophomore album called, “The Great Escape”. Listen to the entire album via Bandcamp. - Indie Underground

"Devarrow Takes Aim"

Graham Ereaux is a young Canadian singer-songwriter from Moncton, New Brunswick. Currently residing in Halifax, Graham (or Devarrow as you may know him) released his sophomore LP “The Great Escape” much to the delight of any fan of folk music who has listened to it. With influences ranging from earlier greats such as Neil Young and Pink Floyd, to more modern acts like indie-folk phenom Bon Iver, “The Great Escape” is a compelling mash-up of progressive folk guitar riffs blanketed with clanky, distorted lead guitar melodies; sturdily rooting itself as no slouch within it’s genre. With haunting and shadowy double-tracked vocals that remind mostly of Patrick Watson with a hint of The Avett Brothers, but also with a certain likeness to Danny Michel, Devarrow has effectively achieved an indie folk feel with grungy, somehow bluegrassy undertones.

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Ereaux never limited himself creatively to music alone. Upon piecing together “The Great Escape”, made up of songs that had been comfortably nestled inside their creators head for some time leading up to their conception, Graham says that he gave himself a year to focus primarily on his music, record his LP and tour. With what could certainly be regarded as a hugely successful year for any budding artist, Ereaux and Devarrow have no plans of letting up.

With a seemingly admirable, optimistic view towards his art and his passions, it’s not entirely difficult to place where the simple, down-to-earth feel of his music comes from. It’s safe to say that from Devarrow, young musicians and writers alike could learn a thing or two about pursuing their dreams with patience and a level head. - Clynton Brooks

"Good Aim: Devarrow returns, invites you to a video shoot"

It's about that time of year when smokey, warm folk songs are all you need. Like a hot cup of tea, folk music full of heart and soul does wonders for the spirit. Tonight, Devarrow (Graham Ereaux) returns to the east coast after awhile on the west coast, and he's invited Corey Isenor (with Liam Frier) and Pat LePoidevin to play The Company House (8pm, $10). But that's not all. Devarrow has also invited Analog Songs to film a music video of tonight's performance.

"To have a good live video, you need to be in the zone and you have to make the crowd in the zone," Ereaux says, "We're going to film two of my more upbeat, dancey songs, and get aperture and crowd shots, as well." As a promotional outfit, Analog Songs are masters of presenting fine details that represent the whole, which is a fitting complement to Devarrow's own music. Each song on his latest album, The Great Escape, speaks for the entire process of its creation.

"It's a collection of songs that I've written over the last six years," he explains, "I had stopped playing music for awhile. This fall, I was in BC and had some life changes and decided I wanted to go back to playing, so I moved to Vancouver and hunkered down. For me, it was like recreating six years of songs, reinventing them and bringing coherence to them all."

When it came time to record the album, he crossed the channel to Salt Spring Island to record with Daryl Chonka of Old Growth Music: "He was a very inspirational person to work with, and I'm really glad I did it because it was the kind of place that I lived in for awhile. Salt Spring is known for having tons of amazing inspirational people there." This comes across on The Great Escape. For fans of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Chad VanGaalen's softer stuff, this album is for you.

"On the album, I tried to pull off folky roots with more of an edge," Ereaux says, "It was my first time living in a city, it was the middle of winter, I played into that whole experience."

In June, Ereaux decided it was time to head back east; his hometown of Moncton serves as an anchor on his journey. "I grew up in the Maritimes, it's where I started playing music, and it's inspiring to see other musicians who have come a really long way," he says. These musicians include LePoidevin and Isenor, his two friends from his student days at Mount Allison.

"I would have met Corey and Pat when I lived there from about 2009 to 2013, and this is the first time we've all had a show together," he says, "I've played with Pat and Corey and they've played together — we were three kind of folky musicians in Sackville but we've never had a chance to play together. So it's funny to play tonight, years after the fact." He says both are incredibly talented musicians, "Corey has a special place in my heart." But it's also been a minute since LePoidevin has played, lately working full-time as a teacher in Wolfville, "But he's still extremely passionate about music," says Ereaux, "He was a hero when I first started playing."

Devarrow also plays tomorrow night at Menz Bar with Newfoundland band, Another North, and up-and-coming Fredericton band, David in the Dark. Devarrow says he'll be hanging around the Maritimes until January, soaking it all in before heading back out west for the summer.

"There's something special about the east coast, and you can't really explain it either," he says, and tonight you can be part of something special. All you have to do is aim for The Company House. - The Coast


The Great Escape. July 15th, 2015
-The Great Escape
-Heroin and Rain
-Little Road
-Modern Ark
-Northern Lights
-The Kitchen Floor
-One of Us
-The Great Divide

The Coast, The Cottage. April 16th, 2011
-The Cottage
-Without Horizon
-Southern Dove
-Loggers Demon
-Gerry Lewis
-The Barefoot Bandit
-Brothers Friend
-The Coast



Devarrow is the moniker of Graham Ereaux, a Canadian singer-songwriter who blends simple folk with sophisticated pop to create music which reflects an upbringing in Moncton, New Brunswick and a subsequent half decade of traveling. In 2015, Devarrow self-released The Great Escape, a collection of eleven songs written in a leaky-roofed apartment while living in Vancouver for a winter. To support the release, Devarrow toured Canada extensively as a one-man-band in 2015 and 2016, focusing on creating an energetic, captivating and intimate live show performed in the raconteur style. Gaining recognition in the maritimes - including an ECMA nomination - Devarrow moved back East to Halifax, Nova Scotia where he now resides. With a refined focus on lyrics and arrangement, Devarrow is currently working on a new album.

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