Elizabeth Devlin
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Elizabeth Devlin

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
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This band has not uploaded any videos



"2010 Festival New Artist Program"

"Old Songs welcomes these new performers from the New York City area. Dan Costello, who has been both a junior and adult crew member for the
festival for many years, present fellow artists in two one-hour performances: Saturday at 3:00 pm in Area 7, and Sunday at 10:45 am on the Main Stage...Elizabeth Devlin invokes influences from scratchy phonographs, combining haunting vocals, cacophonous melodies and a unique autoharp style. She is the two-time recipient of the Common Ground on the Hill, Roots Music & Arts Memorial Scholarship, and was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award at the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Gathering." - Old Song Festival of Traditional Music & Dance

"Record Review: All Are Relative, A-"

Fresh Baked:
Elizabeth Devlin
All Are Relative
2008 | self-released

An Autoharp? That box thing that Mother Maybelle Carter played? Convenience, ability or a desire to stick out of the throng of white folk singers in the East Village have led many more people than Elizabeth Devlin to pick semi-conventional (or at least semi-common: an Autoharp still has strings and can be bought in a store) instruments as their ax to grind. Think about the salmon rush of ukulele players in town: summer 2003, Michael Leviton's baritone uke was the exception, in 2008, whole festivals are organized around hordes of performers linked only by their preference for the tiny Hawaiian guitar. Think about scads of guitar-playing young men who sound like they only listen to John Mayer and piano-playing young women who sound like they only listen to Vanessa Carlton. Yawn.

Then think about Elizabeth Devlin, who sings as though her influences are not of this Earth, and who, a scant three years ago, compelled audiences to listen intently through hour-long shows at Sidewalk, her lilting vibrato accompanied only by the handclaps she could chide out of the audience. In less-capable hands, an hour of solo a capella songs would be interminable, but Devlin soldiered on and kept audiences interested for a few months, before picking up an autoharp, and not so much learning it, so much as having the instrument in her bones. This, All Are Relative, is Devlin's debut full-length (or any length, save one song on Crafty Records' Anticomp Folkilation in 2007), and it is a testament to her ability as a songwriter, singer and monumentally gifted performer.

Immediate comparisons to the "freak" folk movement come to mind when listening to All Are Relative. Obvious similarities between Devlin and Joanna Newsom, who plays a full-sized harp and who's voice lilts with a comparable ice-skates-on-shattered-glass, unexpectedly gorgeous soprano. Of course, Newsom can afford to travel with a full-sized harp, and to hire Van Dyke Parks to co-write and produce albums, whereas Devlin travels with a much more modest Autoharp and produces herself, with minimal accompaniment from Kyle Avallone's bass and local favorite Debe Dalton's banjo. Is All Are Relative a logical Antifolk extension of freak folk? Yes, but where the average Devendra Banhart album sounds self-indulgent at best, masturbatory at worst, Devlin's debut is concise, spartan and surprisingly small in scope, consisting mostly of interweaving layers of autoharp and Elizabeth's heavily-reverbed vocal. Opener "House is Floating" leads immediately into the waltzy "Once Again Sleep," which leads, through well-placed radio static, immediately into the bluesy "Broken 'n Beatin.'" In fact, the album plays like one long narrative, a la Dylan's "Desolation Row." My only complaint is that the vocals are mixed a little low for my taste, occasionally drowning the lyric below the music.

The real main course of All Are Relative lies in its title track: love at first sight recast as a lonely man on the express train who's eye catches that of a lonely woman on the local. They see each other for one fleeting moment, and then his train speeds off into the distance, leaving hers behind. A great many of Elizabeth Devlin's protagonists seem to be folks who have missed opportunities, left alone in the cold. All Are Relative is recommended for fall evenings, either alone or with someone close to you.

By Brook Pridemore
- Jezebel Music

"TOP LIVE SHOWS: Antifolk Festival"

"Elizabeth Devlin croons brassy dreams over Autoharp: August 14"
- Time Out NY

"Super Ace: The lamb and the lion"

"If you like CocoRosie and Jolie Holland you'll like the sound of Elizabeth Devlin. Armed only with an Autoharp, she sings of the loveless and unrequited with the sweetest intonation. What beautifully sickly sweet music she does make. She released 'All Are Relative' at the end of last year. You can also catch her in the North of England before she floats back to her haven of New York. Ahhh."
- Super Ace (London Blog)

"Delicious Scopitone Review: Elizabeth Devlin"

"Il pleut sur les cordes, les gouttes ajoutent leur sel aux harmoniques, il pleut sur la dame, celle assise sur un cygne, que d’eau que d’eau, même le lac est trempé. Et la dame continue de chanter, une voix hors du temps, 1920, 1980, quelque chose d’excessivement aigü comme Kate Bush, quelque chose d’un chat qui réveille tout un quartier, quelque chose d’une averse qui vous saisit tout entier.

It’s raining on the strings, drops add their salt to the harmonics, it’s raining on the lady, the one sitting on a swan, so much water everywhere, even the lake is soaked to the skin. And the lady goes on singing, with her voice out of time, 1920, 1980, something excessively high, like Kate Bush, something of a cat waking up all the neighborhood, something of a rain that hits your whole body."
- Delicious Scopitone

"8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear"

"When asked, 'What NYC band would you give up your spot on the list for,' Balls of Flame Shoot Fire responded, 'Elizabeth Devlin has been around for a bit, but we're into her music right now. She plays Autoharp and her sound has this delicate but engrossing feel. It's like you're seeing her play in a snow globe.'"

- L Magazine, NYC, NY


For Whom the Angels Named, Elizabeth Devlin Publishing (2011)
All Are Relative, Elizabeth Devlin Publishing (2008)

Ladybug, Elizabeth Devlin Publishing (2010)

Gatsby, Elizabeth Devlin Publishing (2010)

Collaborations & Compilations:
Dead Weight Tonnage, The Ougler Sessions. Smockadoll Förlag/Press, Malmoe, Sweden & Elizabeth Devlin Publishing (2010)



"With a voice at once strong and ethereal...She accompanies herself on Autoharp, which casts her every song in shades of spooky." -TimeOUT NY

After completing her Autohear(p)t Tour this summer '10, where Elizabeth played shows in TX, NM, AZ, CA, WA, OR, MD, Devlin has returned to her home to NYC where she continues to write, record and perform. With the upcoming release of "Ladybug", a three song EP - 7"vinyl this Winter '10, Devlin also plans to release a second full-length album in Winter '10/11, details to be announced.

Elizabeth Devlin invokes influences from scratchy phonographs, combining bitter sweet, haunting vocals with poignant lyrics and angelic, cacophonous melodies. Papa Devlin fancied himself a gypsy and traveled the coast peddling his one-man-band street performance; Momma was a writer, who tended many children and hand sewed puppets to sell on the DC streets. Pulling these things to her, Elizabeth's performance art began as lyrical, melodic, acapella poetry but soon blossomed into an electro-acoustic sound when she began to play the Autoharp.

Following Elizabeth's debut, self-released, full-length album, "All Are Relative" in Dec '08, she toured the US as back-up singer for Larkin Grimm in February of '09 before traveling to Quebec, to play several solo shows with fellow NYC musician Dan Costello & French-Canadian duo, Geneviève et Matthieu. In Spring '09, Elizabeth traveled to Austin, TX with Philadelphia band Hermit Thrushes, playing several SXSW unofficial showcases along the way. Following SXSW, Elizabeth embarked on a solo tour of Ireland and England with friend Shawn Butler (BNS Sessions) playing shows in Bundoran , London, Manchester, and Hull before boarding a plane to Zurich where she joined Dan Costello, to continue her solo tour, playing shows in cities throughout Germany, France and Switzerland!

Aside from extensive touring, Devlin continues to work on projects with other musicians, poets and artists. In March '09, Devlin was approached by the Canadian underground poet & performance artist Alice P.Ougler regarding her book, entitled “These Poems.” Elizabeth recorded "Dead Weight Tonnage" for “The Ougler Sessions”, a compilation album which will include several musician's interpretations of Ougler's poems. "These Poems," along with "The Ougler Sessions," was published in Summer 2010, Smockadoll Förlag/Press, Malmoe, Sweden.

Elizabeth collaborated with Moselle Spiller and Indira Cesarine, at the end of '09 to create a multimedia art piece to accompany Devlin's song “Gatsby”. The video was released in KALEIDOSCOPIC, the first issue of the on-line fashion and culture magazine, XXXX Magazine in February'10. The product of over 100 contributors, the magazine showcased original productions of conceptual film, contemporary art, conceptual fashion, photography and multimedia as well as addresses controversial topics in the media via documentary shorts.

Elizabeth Devlin is the two-time recipient of the Common Ground On the Hill, Roots Music & Arts Memorial Scholarship through which, she attended Traditions Music Workshops in 2007 & 2008. Also in 2008, Elizabeth was awarded the Mary Lou Orthey Scholarship to attend the Mt. Laurel Autoharp Gathering where she received the Leonard A. Reid Peoples Choice Award for Outstanding Vocal Performance.