We have witnessed a transformation of MA-based enchantress and song-crafter Mal Devisa. In the past, her songs have been powerful and tender, remaining mainly in the ballpark of somewhat traditional soul music. Recently, though, she has made sudden and confident expeditions outside of the genre ordinarily attributed to her, experimenting with loop pedals and hip-hop-style vocal delivery. This new DJ Lucas-produced track “Vicious Nonbeliever” is excellent evidence of Mal Devisa’s exponential artistic development, a reckless and informal-feeling sojourn into the mind of a real artist. We’ve got the stream here for y’all.
I have to give it to DJ Lucas – I fucking love this beat. It’s loud, it’s hectic, it’s sculpted, it’s a bunch of genres at once, it’s irreverent; in short, it’s a great beat for Mal Devisa, and it’s incredibly refreshing to hear her going hard on this one. Thudding bass hits combine with incessant trap-like percussion hat clicks, creating a weird counter-melody to the plinking piano parts which play in time alongside Mal’s layered and repeated vocal.
if this ain’t fire, then i’m a vicious nonbeliever
if i perspire it’s because this shit is getting deeper
jeepers creepers i might have to pass it to my teacher
This passage was also the isolated introduction to the track itself – one of Deja’s strengths is the lyrical form of mantra, or a repeated segment which can bring comfort and focus. It provides a peculiarly effective feeling of protection and centering in the midst of a song which is both chaotic and seemingly violent; I’m a big fan of this vicious turn in her music, and now I’ll probably have to start listening to DJ Lucas, too. Wait, did I just use “vicious” in one of the last sentences of this review? How tacky.
You can buy Mal Devisa’s new album “Kiid” on bandcamp.