“Devotion” is a crashing wave of a song, two minutes and twenty-four seconds of concentrated intention, with Nashville’s Liza Anne singing about re-establishing her sense of self after a break-up. If she sounds more than a little agitated, it reflects the mindset of someone waking up to how diminished she had become within the relationship—working now, as she sings, to “find the bits of me I shook off/to appease you.”
Launching off a three-note bass line introduction, “Devotion” means business from the start, with as authoritative an opening line as I’ve heard in a while: “I’m gonna try because I need to/Be the woman who doesn’t need you.” Liza Anne’s voice is conspiratorial, fluttery, attention-grabbing; the music throbs and itches, with guitars scratching around the edges. The chorus lays out the song’s central thesis in an impressive 15-second journey from calm reflection (“Devotion/Return to me”) through expansive supposition (“Who I was before I was in love”) into cathartic, idiosyncratic declaration (“I’ll do anything for her now/She’s my longest love”)—the last lines, which refer to herself, an uninhibited outburst more spoken than sung, an endearing cross between Debbie Harry and Annabella Lwin, for you old-school folks.
By Liza Anne’s own account, “Devotion” was written in 10 minutes; there are occasionally arguments to be made, in rock’n’roll, for not over-thinking things. The song was released as a single back in October. Her debut album, Fine But Dying, dates back to October 2018; check it out via Bandcamp.
MP3 via The Current (see note below).
(MP3s from the Minneapolis public radio station The Current are available in files that are 128kbps, which is below the established 192kbps standard, not to mention the higher-def standard of 320kbps. I personally don’t hear much difference on ordinary equipment but if you are into high-end sound you’ll probably notice something. In any case I always encourage you to download the MP3 for the purposes of getting to know a song via a few listens; if you like it I as always urge you to buy the music. It’s still, and always, the right thing to do.)