[sic] Magazine

Devon Williams – Gilding The Lily

Gilding The Lily is one of those albums you can stick on and not really notice when it finishes. Pre-2000 Devon Williams was up to similarly melodic antics as Osker and he’s been pedalling soft-focus pop solo since then, but unless you pay his work – Gilding The Lily included – the required amount of attention it can slip by unnoticed all too easily. As usual there’s actually quite a lot going on here, but at times it’s just too tasteful, the dreamy 80s synths nebulous to the point of dry-ice balladry.

Williams again has Ariel Pink producer Jorge Elbrecht on board and it’s never been more evident. Gilding The Lily lacks the sheer oddity of Los Angeles’ chief weirdo but, with the lush 80s pop it houses, it’s easy to draw comparison nevertheless. So too with the likes of Destroyer, the smartly executed album opener “Deep In The Back Of Your Mind” shimmering in FM glory, Williams’ rich 12-string adding depth to the arrangement along with his Ian McCulloch-esque vocal.

Harking back to the days of Osker, there’s a neat line of indie-punk in the mix too. It jangles away nicely during the up-tempo “Pendulum”, bringing to mind Wild Nothing on the wistfully romantic “Will You Let Go Of My Heart?” There’s also an almost Beatles-style vibe to the breezy single “Flowers” as well as the overly precious “Around In A Maze”, while the relatively rocking “Puzzle” plugs in for some ho-hum heartland power-pop.

Wind back the clock three years and Williams might have had a minor hit on his hands with Gilding The Lily. As it stands it’s a bit patchy, but there’s far worse.

Best tracks: “Pendulum” and “Will You Let Go Of My Heart?”