Devon Thompson has today released her new video for the track titled ‘I Love You But It Hurts Like Hell’, from her upcoming EP ‘Skin’ dropping March 27th via Exquisite Feline. It’s easy to be either tough or vulnerable but it takes that certain something to admit to be both. That is what ‘I Love You But It Hurts Like Hell’, and to a greater extent ‘Skin’ is. Part confessional with bits and bobs of angst, regret, and rejuvenation blended in a chaotic beauty laced with scars and lipstick, Devon Thompson shows that the real beauty lay within the experience and lessons learned.
Musically, the song is a not so quiet anthem solidified by a solid hook and a guitar that wants to make you take lessons. Devon writes like a guitarist, and I love it. Being one myself, she teaches me that she puts the instrument in her place when it needs to be, yet cuts loose when it wants the spotlight. A solid lesson in songwriting.
Check out our other features with Devon Thompson HERE.
About Devon Thompson & ‘Skin’
As Devon says, the theme of her upcoming EP – Skin – is the balance of beautiful violence: “I see skin as just that. It’s delicate, yet so tough. Parts of us, you can prick with a needle and not feel much. But others, you’ll bleed instantly. Skin has always been fascinating to me. This year I have been abusing it (all the guitar playing and tattooing), so it only felt fair to dedicate some of the most painful songs to it.” She adds, “The skin on my fingertips would basically either shrivel up and fall off or would be rubbed raw from all the steel string contact. But that symbolizes my strength as a female lead guitarist, and as a person.” Equal parts Siouxsie Sioux, Karen O, and Shirley Manson, Devon embodies the darker side of the dance floor. Full-throttle and full-throated, “I Luv You But It Hurts Like Hell” carries a mix of aggression, hurt and anger, while Devon keeps herself fully-anchored in post-punk glory, matching the lyrics’ exorcism of a toxic relationship.
“The lyrics and phrases in this song are intentionally very short,” she explains, noting her rapid-fire delivery. “It’s meant to represent being done and over with the situation or the person I’m talking about. In the verse, I sing, ‘I love you, but I’m overwhelmed’ and then right after that, the chorus kicks in, ‘I wish you well,’ signaling the decision that I’ve made to finally get rid of the source of the toxicity, be it a person or thing.”
Diving deeper into the lyrics’ meaning, she confesses an embedded interpretation that correlates with toxic relationships (“about loving someone you really care about, whether it’s family, friends, spouse, but they just make life incredibly hard because they’re a mess”). “The second meaning is more so about the feeling of oppression in religion, where you feel like the community loves you and the higher ‘being’ loves you, yet we are technically punished for something that makes us who we are,” she confesses. “For example, growing up as a Christian but having your entire identity demonized just because you are gay is an example of this Love/Hate relationship with God. You love your family and your community, but you know you can’t stay because they don’t accept who you fundamentally are.”
Embracing this “outsider” point of view is something intrinsic not only to Devon’s songwriting but to her being as well. Bullied and criticized for being artistic, her upbringing in Los Angeles wasn’t exactly idyllic. A lone wolf of sorts, the oppression she received from the popular kids only empowered her to focus on her creativity, blossoming into the critically-hailed artist that she is today. Called “sonically impressive and lyrically bold” (Altitude), “bare bones rock with alternative post punk and indie flavors throughout” (American Pancake), and compared to “PJ Harvey, Sarah Bettens, Johnette Napolitano” (Beats Per Minute), Devon channeled the angst and transformed it into the fiery rockers and intense slow burns that have defined her career so far. “When I struggle mentally, I use my writing for good and create stories where I can more positively influence myself,” she says about her mining of past trauma. “Even if the concept is dark, it helps me so much to write about it, and write about it from someone else’s perspective.”
With more music and live performances planned for 2024, Devon is gearing up for a busy and fast-paced year. Her partnership with producer James Salter (The Raveonettes, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) which has already spawned a previous single released in late 2023 (the intense slowburn “So Close” with its serial-killer/zombie-inspired video) promises even more singles ahead. “We were just going to do six songs together and part ways, but we had something going,” she explains. Bonding over a shared love for the 4AD shoegaze band Lush, Devon and Salters continued to collaborate which resulted in a wealth of new music to be released this year.