7/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 14 August 2013
This one here is a collaboration between Troy Schafer (Rain Drinkers, Kinit Her) and Dani Schafer who, as you may have guess from the name, is not only a frequent collaborator but also his wife. They’ve made this here record to celebrate the fact that they enjoy being each other’s spouses and all that, but don’t worry, it’s not all sickly and gross like the Mates of Tennis or whatever. This is kind of a big sweeping neofolk-inflected piece with densely droning melodies and gentle puttering rhythms and Dani crooning all over the top like a medieval Enya who has unexpectedly stumbled upon Natural Snow Buildings having a jam in a forest glade.
It’s quite a varied collection, ranging from boomy dark ambience to ritualistic neofolk to solemn church organ heaviness to warbling harmonies and 12-string guitar buoyed by uplifting brass and strings, and I’m pleased to say that despite the somewhat gothy-looking cover this hasn’t been a difficult listen at all. People who like Zola Jesus, Natural Snow Buildings and dressing in medieval costumes at the weekend will all enjoy this.
10/10 Heathen Harvest Customer review, 15th November 2013
Devotion is a direct reflection of the dynamic between the most rewarding and perplexing of human relationships. It is another chapter, another step, for these shadowy figures from the Midwest, and hopefully it is only the beginning of further output of this variety. All becomes far more interesting when either performer involved wallows in the most obscure of art-forms, let alone both. One is reminded of the spirit harnessed on some of Lennon and Ono’s collaborations — hard to understand, seemingly bizarre, but beautiful on an unnameable level. A well-needed foil to the bleakness so often evoked in the post-industrial underground.
10/10 HSS Customer review, 28th August 2013
What a great album. Troy Schafer (Kinit Her, Rain Drinkers, Second Family Band) and his wife Dani have really got something here. In their own words, Devotion is a “celebration of new lore transmitted through the creative union and opposite charges of Dani & Troy Schafer.” I’m glad that they did collaborate and have created a whole that is greater even than the sum of its parts. Depending on the track, there are moments of spiritually transcendent drone paired with Dani’s vocals. I love it when those strings glide and dangle you in midair with their sharpness and grace. There are also instants of experimental instrumentation akin to Rain Drinkers. And there is a real neo folk vibe sometimes, especially on the second track that reminds me a little of the earthy cultic feel of Kinit Her. The influences of all these other projects are bound to bleed into this work, but as was stated before, this is no mere conglomerate but is something altogether greater and deeper. I feel like, other than Troy’s very moving “Evening Song Awaken,” this is his most emotive and passionate musical engagement to date. The compositional execution along with Dani’s voice resonates with authentic sentiment. It all envelops you in a soft cocoon of warmth and light, which is why I may have been taken there in my imagination. A complex, innovative, and lovely gift, this Devotion project is. Thank you, you two. This deserves listen after listen to appreciate the magnificence and beauty.
10/10 Inarguable Customer review, 28th August 2013
Troy and Dani Schafer, also known for work in ensembles like Kinit Her, Wreathes, and Wormsblood. In Love We Stand Alone is absolutely among our favorites of their work (which is a muddled mess of "wait but this album is priceless too") and features all of the slight strangenesses, originality, and beautiful sense of melody we've come to expect from their other projects--with an emphasis on the beautiful and enrapturing. Troy and Dani embrace us with the kinds of tunes that stick in the mind and yet continually receive a welcome.
Like Kinit Her's nearly simultaneous album The Poet and the Blue Flower (from which we premiered a tune here), In Love We Stand Alone heavily features harmonic masses of violin work, here mixed with more of Troy's acoustic guitar strumming and lush horn arrangements. Featuring Dani more prominently as the main voice helps Devotion find a place as the "beautiful" one of the twins, but extended violin technique and occasional forays into microtonality mean the engaging songwriting also holds on to the adventurous.
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- In Love We Stand Alone by Devotion
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