Thursday, June 24, 2021

Divinely Inspired To A Heavenly Extent: Divine Lorraine ‘Divine’ EP Review

In the film High Fidelity, the hapless romantic record store owner Rob, turns to one of his employees and says “I will now sell five copies of ‘The Three Ep’s’ by The Beta Band’ while working on a busy Saturday in downtown Chicago.

The irresistible groove of opener ‘Dry The Rain’ engrosses everyone within the shop like a trance; a boy and girl catch each other's eye, the shoppers sway in time with the music, with one even enquiring the identity of the band being played – much to Rob’s amusement. 

High Fidelity was made in 2000, just two years after the release of that classic album. If the film were made today in 2021, Divine Lorraine’s debut EP ‘Divine’ would be an apt substitute. Its smooth Americana and melodic harmonies could encompass the same vibe in any record shop, either side of the Atlantic. 


The Philadelphia-based indie-rockers most listened-to song on Spotify is the closing track on the EP, ‘Easy Country Band’ is – as the title suggests – a divine slice of seductive country-infused pop. Slightly removed from the more alternative sound of the other two tracks; ‘Easy Country Band’, with its extended chanting outro, would be the natural replacement for The Beta Band’s coffee shop classic in an updated Nick Hornby adaption.


All of the songs for the EP were recorded live in their living room in the Germantown area of Philadelphia and the rawness of both ‘Heavensent’ and ‘Jawn’ are all the better for it. ‘Heavensent’ is like a delightful cross between The Libertines’ ‘Tell The King’ and the theme for the BBC comedy The Detectorists. Lead singer Whit Lane’s vocal delivery on the opener is reminiscent of Jamie T’s on his debut album, evoking a tune such as ‘Brand New Bass Guitar’.  ‘Jawn’ has echoes of the more ‘art-pop’ infections of late 70s New Wave. If the title track of Marquee Moon’s ‘Television’ was more stripped back, it would have a similar vibe to this tune.


Lyrically ‘Jawn’ has a fast-paced, idiosyncratic delivery where Lane seems to lament a lack of freedom, he channels the spirit of Bukowski. The opening line is fairly unspectacular “So what I get tired of your antics/So I wanna sleep on my own tonight” but it precedes onto half-crazed yelps extolling the virtues of being drunk and smoking before declaring “Phoney lonely bullshit/Three words is my greatest hits”, which hits like the results in your GPs hand. 


Divine’ is a varied, well-crafted yet raw introduction to Divine Lorraine. Based on these three songs, I think they could occupy an exciting place in east coast America’s burgeoning indie scene, following the likes of Sharon Van Etten and Parquet Courts. 


Divine Lorraine release their next single ‘Nose Up’ on July 2nd and they drop the music video for ‘Heavensent’ next week.

Tom Pritchard

Image: Divine EP Official Artwork


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