Kevin Devine – “No History”

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 changed the course of the entire world, and “No History” — the first single from Kevin Devine’s upcoming ninth full-length, Instigator — acts as part recollection and part reflection on what happened that day. Over wistful and crisp instrumentation that wouldn’t sound out of place on many a ’90s rock album, Devine sings, “I was frightened by the face of the future/ It had the teeth of perpetual war,” recalling database entries and football ads that signaled the subtle ways in society irreversibly shifted. The song jumps forward in time with a painful and acute observation: “Fifteen years later and we’re still in the future/ The blood and money didn’t fix anything/ We’ve grown accustomed to the depths of the danger/ This is the future: severe and always happening.” Here’s what Devine has to say about the track:

I wrote “No History” last summer, after driving Manhattan’s West Side Highway home to Brooklyn from an early morning doctor’s appointment. It was 8am, and a lot had already happened that day, and the immediate sky was uninterrupted blue, and my mind was lazy, and I happened to look up at my left at the Freedom Tower, and I realized That Day in 2001 was a lot like this one. Memories and images tumbled and fought for space until the song had its shape. I’m 36 and a lifelong New Yorker and in many ways my life is pre/post That Day. That’s also true on a larger scale; a lot of present-day ugliness & scariness (not to mention the poisonous fruit we’re being served in place of sane civic discourse) has its roots in how Power reacted to what happened. This is a song tying moments together to shrink back to the personal, to reconnect to that meaning & narrative, to the kernel of humanity buried in the fog.

Listen below.

01 “No Why”
02 “Instigator”
03 “Magic Magnet”
04 “Freddie Gray Blues”
05 “No History”
06 “Daydrunk”
07 “Both Ways”
08 “No One Says You Have To”
09 “Guard Your Gates”
10 “Before You’re Here”
11 “I Was Alive Back Then”

Tour Dates:
09/03 Philadelphia, PA @ Made In America
10/03 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s^
10/04 St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway^
10/05 Norman, OK @ Opolis^
10/06 Austin, TX @ Stubbs
10/07 Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/08 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon^
11/01 Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage#
11/02 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theater#
11/03 Charlotte, NC @ The Underground*
11/04 Orlando, FL @ The Social*
11/05 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum*
11/06 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade*
11/08 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall*
11/09 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar N Grill*
11/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge#
11/12 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram#
11/13 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s#
11/15 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios#
11/16 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey#
11/18 Salt Lake City, UT @ Billboard Live#
11/19 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater#
11/20 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck#
11/22 Nashville, TN @ Basement East#
12/01 Detroit, MI @ Loving Touch#
12/02 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge#
12/03 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon#
12/04 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry#
12/06 Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups#
12/07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo#
12/08 New York City, NY @ Irving Plaza#
12/09 New Haven, CT @ The Ballroom At The Outer Space#
12/10 Boston, MA @ Royale#
12/11 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer#

^ Solo Show
* w/ Julien Baker, Pinegrove & Petal
# w/ Pinegrove & Petal

Instigator is out 10/21 via Procrastinate Music Traitors. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Kevin Devine