1. Black Rainbow Devin James Fry 2:37

Black Rainbow is a nontheistic elegiac banger inspired by a physics textbook. Reading about electromagnetic fields one night, I felt like a tiny glitch on this impossibly grand, mostly invisible spectrum of no one’s design, where no one knows what happens when we die, and to be humbled like that was liberating. That kind of knowledge makes me want to freak out and dance. So I made whatever beat came to mind and sang the hook. My partner Cassandra Hayes kicked in backing vocals. All this was recorded in my home studio.

To take it a new direction, I hit up nonbinary plus-size queer Brooklyn rapper Chris Conde after the head of their label, Fake Four, told me he thought Chris would kill this track. Kill it they did. It was uncanny to share a song so offbeat and esoteric and have someone come back with a verse so perfect. I think Chris and I both felt a spark of understanding in that moment.

Since then, we’ve collaborated on two more tracks, both of which come out later this summer on a new record by my band Name Sayers. So beyond being incredibly fun and liberating to make, this song was a powerful meeting.

Retrellion is a departure from his previous sound, which typically featured him fingerpicking a guitar, either alone or in the context of Name Sayers, the adventurous psychedelic rock band he fronts. The new album, which was produced, recorded, and mixed by Fry, features punchy, hip hop-influenced songs that are difficult to classify into a single genre, with otherworldly synths and glitchy electronics throughout.

Early reviews have noted the shift. “Is this post-punk hip hop? We hope so,” wrote reviewer Layla Merino of yourEDM.com, noting that with Retrellion, “Fry might even be creating new genres.”

The album’s title reflects that it is the product of a time (the Covid-19 pandemic) when societal norms broke down and expectations could be set aside. “I wanted a word that felt like both retreat and rebellion,” says Fry.

Retrellion was born. Some songs, like lead single Black Rainbow, feature collaborations with rappers like Brooklyn’s Chris Conde and Denver-based rapper and circuit bender Otem Rellik, while others are solo explorations. All were created using a bank of synthesizers and noisemakers including The Jitter Getter, an analog sound effects engine Fry designed and built,and which is featured in the video for Purple Glue.

One song, Ash Ode Variation, is an adaptation of the poem “Ash Ode” by Fry’s friend and hero, poet Dean Young. Fry enlisted the help of another of his mentors, Chicago flutist Lloyd Brodnax King, to create the song and sent it to Young, who replied to say that he was looking forward to listening to it. Unbeknownst to Fry, Young lay on his deathbed at the time, and Fry is unsure whether the poet heard the song before he died. Retrellion’s merchandise is as offbeat and finely crafted as the music, and includes a 180-gram LP, coloring books, incense, lathecut 7” singles, soap, and matchbooks.

SOURCE: Official Bio