Devon Welsh, former frontman of critically acclaimed art-pop duo Majical Cloudz, just announced his sophomore solo album, True Lovecoming October 11 on his own record label You Are Accepted. The Canadian artist shared entrancing single “Faces” from the upcoming album and new track“War” ahead of tour dates in Canada and New York next month.
In an age of collaborations and high-end production, Devon Welsh highlights the importance of the individual voice as an instrument in music with rigor, vulnerability, and grace. From 2010 to present, his body of work has pushed language to the fore in service of closing the space between artist and listener, prizing human connection above all. With his duo Majical Cloudz, Welsh found a huge audience for that vision: he released two critically-acclaimed LPs with Matador Records, and went from DIY house-show tours to playing arenas with Lorde. After disbanding Majical Cloudz in 2016, Welsh released his first critically praised solo album, Dream Songs in 2018, before leaving his longtime home of Montreal for rural Wisconsin.
Upcoming album True Love strengthens the poetry, illumination, and appealing minimalism of Welsh’s best work. Here he reflects on the ambiguous emotional spaces around love – romantic, platonic, internal; how love can be a game, a daydream, a paradise, or horror. Flipping the fantasy of “true love” that prevails through pop culture, Welsh set out to articulate the human heart from realer angles and depths.
“As you get older, love becomes so much stranger than the childhood fantasy versions of yearning and desire,” Welsh says. “Romance can be such a scary thing because there’s so much trust involved – sitting with uncertainties and reservations, taking a longer look at emotions, trying to understand them. But there’s a deepening of love, which is the energy that holds people together.”
Through the process of True Love, Welsh also found himself reflecting on our culture’s rigid notions of manhood and masculinity, and how they’re implicated in love of all kinds. “The male stereotype is that you’re not supposed to cry, you’re supposed to be strong and confident and powerful,” he says. “That feeds into a masculine identity where you can’t look inward and figure out:Who am I that’s distinct from that?”
With his characteristic openness, Welsh admits that the echo chamber of being an artist online had also become wearying in Majical Cloudz. He struggled with a loss of identity, and it left him with a deep skepticism towards the music industry. But he calls his move into self-releasing his music more natural and emboldening. “I’m just trying to express things that feel intimate and worthwhile, but leaving it a little bit with a question mark,” Welsh says. In an era of widespread burnout, it feels radical and hopeful to see an artist reckon with these realities and find a personal path forward – and in his songs, a disarmingly clear sense of self.