Since last year’s short-but-sweet American Times EP, the perpetually-suit-clad gentlemen in Devil Met Contention have been routinely bestowing their genre-melding construct of “dark Americana” all over town. Despite being among the city’s busiest and most active acts, bandleader Ehson Rad and company have fortunately found time to write and record songs for a new full-length that’s due out in May.
Prior to tonight’s Boone & Crockett performance as part of Arte Para Todos, Devil Met Contention wanted give listeners a sample of what they can expect on the next record. Better yet, they’re doing so while also granting a glimpse of the sultry video for the single. “Used To Be” is an unabashed song of longing. The Jessica Farrell-directed and Quinn Hester-shot video and its terse, tragic concept perfectly matches the song’s lyrics in ways that are both figuratively and literally moving.
“The concept is based around the movement and energy we’ve experienced at our live performances, and we’ve tried to combine the old school American rockabilly concerts with romantic samba and dance,” Rad tells Milwaukee Record.
Between the deconstructed folk-meets-Chris Isaak song and the dreary dancing captured on film, “Used To Be” surrenders to movement and, in doing so, manages to say so much using so little.