Los Angeles native Devon Thompson is excited to be releasing her debut single “Soft Like Water” out today worldwide on all digital platforms. The driving guitar track is the snarling sound of a young woman discovering who she is. “I was so insecure my whole life and felt like I wasted years worrying about what other people thought of me worrying about not fitting in,” says Thompson. “I was watching a video of a creature on the bottom of the ocean floor being pulled around by the current, and I thought that was me. I have to write about it. Water is malleable. If you touch it even slightly, the wind blows it. It’s easily pushed around. It’s just like the little sea creature, helplessly shoved around by the ocean’s current. Hence the meaning of the opening line of the song.”
Thompson approaches her songwriting with the same raw simplicity as the music that permeated her developmental years such as The Animals, Bill Evans, and the Beatles. Songs start with one meaningful line, then a groove and bassline that the song is built around. “That is the foundation I love,” says Thompson. “I’m a guitar player and like the bass and the drums is what makes the song. And then the one powerful guitar line. We definitely stick and revert back to classic songwriting techniques from the 60s in the 70s,“ says Thompson. “Those were beautifully crafted perfect songs.”
The song was captured in an equally bare-bones recording environment which was vital for capturing the energy and raw emotion of the song. “Soft Like Water” was recorded and produced by James Salter (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Ravonettes, Gringo Star) in a classic body shop in Ventura, CA surrounded by motorcycles. vintage cars, parts, and collectibles. The drums were set up and mic’d under a vintage Porsche on a car rack, enabling Salter to capture a literal garage sound. Thompon’s power as a performer is showcased in the video that sees a woman refusing to be a doormat, to anyone, including herself.
Thompson’s earliest memory was punching through a pane of glass, just to see if she could. This experiment produced large amounts of blood, followed by stitches, parental trauma, and slight fear of her next move, solidifying performance art as an integral part of her being. An overachiever in the arts from a very young age, Thompson started singing, participating in band camps, and landing key roles in musicals, outshining and outperforming her much older and experienced peers. This led to my attending a prestigious and exclusive art school. At the time art school seemed like it would be the place for her to grow her sound and find like-minded creatives but instead found herself the victim of brutal bullying. So bad, to the point that made her detest music to the point of quitting. The bullying continued to be a problem throughout her teen years, causing her to change schools frequently, and ultimately pushing her into the role of a permanent outsider. Thompson found solace in the music of other misfits such as Early Siouxsie and The Cramps and found her tribe in the skate and snowboard scene in and around LA, where her music ended up in a Thrasher video and began to get attention around town and via social media. Intrigued and inspired by skate culture, literature, and the dark underbelly of culture, such as Dorian Gray and the books of Anne Rice which opened her up into a whole new world of dark wave and post-punk, the influences of which run rampant throughout “Soft Like Water.”
This fiery introduction is only the beginning for Devon, who armed with her Gibson Epiphone guitar, an arsenal of songs and a defiant attitude is ready to take on the world.