Artist: Devon Kay and the Solutions
Song: “Parchment and Petroleum”
Genre: Power Pop, Ska
“Also genre’s are dumb and constrict cool shit from getting made.” A self-described “supergroup” of Chicago-based musicians, Devon Kay and the Solutions are a power pop group from the Midwest who make their opinions about genres in Kay’s succinct quote above. They’re currently four tracks into releasing an entire album composed entirely of singles.
“Parchment and Petroleum” is the newest single in the series. While Kay dislikes genres as a limiting force, he’s still happy to discuss all the influences at play in his music: “I would say if you like punk rock/ska/showtunes/pop music/dumb rock/electronic music you might find something here.” I’ve always been a fan of big hooks and shout-along choruses from emo and punk bands of yesterday. There’s a lot of that here – the showtunes reference is wholly earned by this song. Kay’s vocals are reminiscent of the late-90s/00s power pop acts like Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy. But on top of that very solid foundation this song adds in horns and electronics that really elevate the entire sound to some very loosely controlled sonic chaos. But even with all of these elements at play, the song is still grounded in the vocals and instrumentation. The ska influences are there (is ska having a moment? Question for another time) but they’re not overpowering. Everything fits together – the drums, guitars, lyrics – into a really cohesive package that above all is just fun to listen to.
2021 is going to need some arena rock bangers and this certainly fits the bill. Check it out in our Check This 2021 Playlist.