tinyhuman | Devin Sinha
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Devin Sinha

“Sinha merges cultures, combines genres, and reworks his own talents to create music that most often transports you to the past but endures to the future.” – Elmore

On Our Fathers Were Lions, Seattle, WA songwriter Devin Sinha has grown into the compositional and lyrical force hinted at on 2016’s Our Past and Present Futures. Sinha crafts elegantly structured songs from a carefully chosen sonic palette which confidently unroll at their own pace, lifting you along with them. Precise, deceptively complex arrangements wrap themselves around the core of the melody, giving the record an airy breadth and filling it with a profound sense of space. The record swings and sways; Sinha is as at ease moving through soaring broad-stroke strumming over propulsive rhythm as he is with plaintive strings and delicate finger picked guitar; all anchored by a voice as deep and clear as the high mountain lakes about which he sings (Juniper Lake”.) “In almost all of my songwriting, I approach lyrics and the outline of a melody separately from the fuller arrangements” explains Sinha. “While some songs on this album came naturally, with others I spent months in revision trying to eke out the right melodies.” There’s a true warmth to Our Fathers Were Lions, whether Sinha is drawing inspiration from a Celtic reel in “Soldering On” or an Americana dustup on “Fireman.” When it came time to craft the arrangements, Sinha turned to longtime producer Dylan Fant (J. Minus). “My goals were for both of us to grow on this project” says Sinha. “I wanted to push myself beyond what I’d written in the past, and Dylan was very open to proposing new ideas. Additionally, this time around I had already collaborated with other artists to better flesh out the ideas for many of the songs before coming into the studio.” On Backslider, for example, Sinha had long wanted a string quartet to accompany the guitar, and before bringing the track to the studio collaborated with Seattle’s own Andrew Joslyn (Macklemore) on cello, viola, and violins.  Lyrically, while previous work dealt primarily with interpersonal relationships, Our Fathers Were Lions moves through the realms of nature, the work of the artist, and traditional narrative storytelling. “I still really enjoy writing songs that discuss relationships” laughs Sinha, “yet most listeners might not notice that I’ve broadened my subject matter. I often anthropomorphize the subject I’m writing about. It might seem that all the songs are about human affairs when in fact that isn’t the case.” A telling example of this new openness comes in the form of album standout “Backslider”. Written while Sinha was exploring Iceland, the song stands as a lamentation about global warming. Devin Sinha grew up in the verdant flatland of the Midwest, where he studied hard and earned a degree in Computer Science. Music was a perpetual undercurrent in Sinha’s life from an early age, dabbling in piano and trumpet in his youth. It was the fateful moment in high school when he first picked up an acoustic guitar, however, that his destiny unfurled before him. The Seventh Season (2014), Sinha’s first studio album, reflects those broad influences, with electric guitar, choice drumming, and judicious harmony vocals fleshing out his immediately engaging indie folk. On his sophomore release Our Past And Present Futures, Sinha delved into the heady realm of choice versus fate, and the ephemeral nature of life – and time – itself. An expertly crafted, cohesive album by an artist who has become truly comfortable in his work, Our Fathers Were Lions delivers a deeply satisfying experience to the listener, and promises great things from a long career to come. “These songs are my passion” says Sinha. “I think that shines through in this record.”

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Photo by Vera Pashkevich