Devin Kowl - You - Stereo Stickman

Devin Kowl You


Sporting a sweet tone, rapid-fire vibrato, an enviable falsetto range and ubiquitous trap beats, You is a honey-drenched pop confection that also boasts some interesting production choices to keep things fresh.

Perhaps the most unusual thing about the mix of You is the choice to begin the track with all of the top end rolled off, as if we are listening to it from next door. I kept expecting the mix to cross fade so that all of the definition would slowly arrive. But no, a glitch occurs and (and I find this really clever) then the drums and the vocals arrive in pristine capture, while the rest of the backing track remains next door. It’s also pretty tantalising as the rest of the soundscape seems complex and fascinating, but we only ever get to hear the ghost of it.

This has the effect of causing the ear to be drawn to the snicketty, crunchy rhythm and, of course, the Kowl vocal. Or rather, vocals – there’s quite an array of them on display. Mainly employing a lot of reverb and delay, they show an awful lot of ebb and flow in their arrangement, rather like the motion of waves lapping on a beach. Certainly, the overall effect is one of luxurious opulence. 

The occasional vocal is sped up for extra ear candy and sprinkled across the track, and some hefty bass slabs arrive to apply some gravity to the production.

Smart and ever-restless (in a laid-back kind of way!), we are led through an engaging narrative to a net result of wanting to hit repeat, as the track is top and tailed with the same intriguing sound states.

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Chris Porter


As well as writing about music, Chris Porter is a songwriter, singer, producer & vocal coach. He has written for all manner of international artists, including Dagny, Dzeko, and hit the No.1 spot with Thailand’s Singto Numchok. His music has had thousands of placements on film, TV & radio all around the globe.

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