Liquid Sunshine Brings Optimism to the Past
Image courtesy of Mundane Magazine
By Renee Rasmussen
On October 15, the lead singer of the folk band Wild Rivers, Devan Glover, released her second solo EP titled Liquid Sunshine.
“To me, the EP is about the importance of perspective—‘liquid sunshine’ is a term my dad uses to describe the rain,” Glover told Luna Collective in an interview. “It’s a lesson in optimism, but also a reminder that sometimes you have to do uncomfortable things in order to grow and benefit from the experience.”
The theme of optimism may come as a surprise for listeners, with the opening track “Orchid” starting with the lyrics, “Someone come and pick me up / I don’t feel like driving.” The song continues to have a melancholy tone, with Glover working through a relationship that seems to only be a “tired game” that both partners hate. It is a little repetitive at times, primarily in the chorus, but the rest of the lyrics make up for it as the song gives the EP a solid beginning.
The next track, “Feel Better,” starts with the acoustic picking of a guitar, which highlights Glover’s voice before going into the chorus that becomes more instrumental.
When discussing this song with Luna Collective, Glover commented, “I wrote ‘Feel Better’ during a period where I’d been seeing a lot of my loved ones go through some really tough times and mental health struggles,” Glover said. “It’s difficult when you know there’s nothing you can do to fix a situation for somebody. This song is me trying to communicate my support.”
This idea of using songwriting to convey indescribable emotions, especially feelings of helplessness or past mistakes, is a prominent theme in the next two songs. “Nascar” plays with the idea of a getaway car, with Glover looking back at a relationship that seemed broken from the beginning. Arguably one of the best-written songs on the EP, Glover takes the time to let the song build, with its peak in the bridge when the lyrics seem most angry and frustrated. Then, the song ends with a quasi-peace and a sense of acceptance as Glover softly sings, “I wanna drive so fast you’ll never catch me.”
The next song, “Without You,” is a good follow-up to “Nascar.” While “Nascar” has a more introspective and gloomy tone, “Without You” is harsher, angrier, and less forgiving.
Glover called this her first “diss track,” telling Luna Collective, “It felt like a concluding statement on a weird and emotionally burdening situation that had been drawn out for way too long,” Glover said.
However, this song feels cheaper than “Nascar” as the lyrics are less eloquent and thoughtful and more emotional and cheesy. Still, it is probably the closest a folk singer will get to a successful “diss track,” something Glover definitely embraces throughout the song.
The next song, “Lie,” continues the story of a doomed relationship through Glover’s lyrics representing the denial that comes with an ending relationship. This song feels too produced and noisy, with Glover’s voice taking a backseat to musical effects, but overall it is a good transition song from “diss track” to the concluding song, “Lighter,” that wraps up the EP.
At first listen, “Lighter” may seem like a forgettable end track, but on a second listen it becomes obvious that this song is the perfect choice for the ending of her EP. Although the chorus falls flat with Glover simply repeating “I wanna feel lighter” the writing in the verses and outro more than makes up for this lack.
In the first verse, Glover sings, “All of the elements / I steal / Every minute back, but I can’t / I can’t change that / So many things I miss / That I’ll / Never get back again / I know I / Can never be as young as this / But I can’t, I can’t face facts.”
This verse sums up the EP well; Glover is using her songs to work through her past, something she has mentioned has not been easy and has been avoided for too long. The beauty of this EP is that Glover admits that her work is not done yet; she is still struggling to understand, accept, and move on from her past. She admits she still has much work to do, but she knows what she wants.
She wants to feel lighter, and Glover has proven on Liquid Sunshine that it is only through her music that she will succeed in this.