Album Review: Lydia ‘Devil’


Hailing all the way from Arizona, Lydia is a band that is very familiar with the music world. Forming back in 2003, the southwest natives have released four full-length albums and been on constant tours. However, their latest release, Devil, is nothing short of a lyrical masterpiece. With Leighton Antelman at the forefront of the band, the captivating lyrics and melodies are just enough to get any new listener to hop on Lydia’s train.

As their fourth full length album, Devil had some big shoes to fill. After returning from a hiatus in 2010, Lydia was back with Paint It Golden, an album that was home to beloved songs such as “Hailey” and “Best Nights”. It seemed as though it was going to be hard for them to top their previous three releases, but as soon as Devil‘s opening track “The Exit” cues in, it is immediately known just how magical this album truly is.

Antelman is a true songwriter – his is capable of writing feel good songs that hold nothing but truth to them. Lydia isn’t a band that is going to release a song for the hell of it, each track holds a special meaning and tells a different story. Infusing a classic piano with acoustic guitar strings, “The Exit” comes together in the bridge with the lyrics “I don’t hang this cross for him/I hang it for my mother’s grin/If I wasn’t so far away/I’d as my pops if he’s free today/But everyone/Everyone here looks like they’re on their own”- that is why Lydia is such a unique music group, Leighton’s lyrics are anything but ordinary. He is able to take a moment in time and instead of saying exactly what happens, he puts a spin to it and gives it that artistic point of view that separates Lydia’s lyrics from so many other bands.

“Knee Deep” is probably Devil‘s biggest stand out track, the two minute and fifty second song, again, being another prime example of the quality music Lydia is able to create. In less than three minutes, Leighton Antelman is able to tell an entire story. As a relatable song about a love that went wrong, the infectious backup singing and mixture of raw and electric instruments is enough to get anyone hooked. With lyrics like “Everything I leaned I’ll soon forget it/You tell me I fucked up well I guess I did then/Just take me back to that day” allows listeners to compare their own personal experiences with the song, allowing Devil to reach them at a deeper level.

When the album was first released, what came to many people’s minds is why Devil was the chosen title. As the title track for the record, “Devil” is not only the mission statement for the album, but for the band as well. As a declaration for a love that was right, the track discusses about searching for the dangers in life, but happily doing it together. While Lydia is a band that stays mainly on the topic of relationships and love, the lyrics within “Devil” can also be seen as a way of their band telling their listeners that you can make it over any obstacle that life throws at you. The positivity in the track makes “Devil” the perfect title for the album, the singing of a children’s choir bringing the entire song full circle with all different types of people represented.

Four albums down and nearly ten years later, Lydia has managed to create a complete musical masterpiece with Devil. Just like what was said with all of the other album releases, it can be questioned as to how Lydia will be able to top this album. However, as history repeats itself, don’t be surprised when they find a way.

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