For this, their fifth record, the band again headed to the vastness of the Arizona desert with producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case). The resulting work is as epic as the landscape in which it was recorded, the 15 new songs offering an emotionally charged sonic expansiveness while retaining all the heartfelt romance and celebratory energy for which the group is known. The record features guest percussions from Mauro Refosco of Thom Yorke’s band Atoms For Peace, and members of Calexico.
DeVotchKa recently took their celebrated live act across the globe, delivering spirited performances to audiences in places such as Istanbul, Belgium, and Poland. In Paris the band opened for Muse playing to massive crowds of 90,000. “To connect with a crowd of strangers in strange lands with your music is really a life altering experience,” singer Nick Urata explains. “When you are standing naked up there, in the clutches of an attention challenged audience, you find out immediately what works. And we wanted to capture some semblance of that knowledge on tape. And so we marched into the studio battle scarred but inspired - and this is where we ended up.”
As much as the touring, it has also been DeVotchKa – and front man Nick Urata’s, cinematic work which has informed their new album. Beginning with a Grammy nominated soundtrack for Little Miss Sunshine, Urata, who The Hollywood Reporter named one of the top 10 up-and-coming film composers, has created evocative soundscapes for a growing list of films including I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey, The Joneses starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny, and many more.
The influence of this film work can be heard on 100 Lovers opening track “The Alley” which begins with melancholy strings before swelling into a powerful and reflective ballad featuring Nick Urata’s otherworldly tenor crooning. It’s a style that has been difficult to describe, with journalists listing an assortment of disparate genres including Eastern European folk, Germanic polka, Mariachi rock - in a noble attempt to capture the band’s unique sound.
“We always hoped with this band to not get pinned down by genres, but everyone probably says that,” Urata offers. “My ideal way someone would describe us would be romantic, exotic or hopefully just plain good.”