It’s been too long since we heard from Devil Met Contention. Back in 2018, the dusty Southern-gothic group was hanging up its matching suits and moving toward a more modern, sleeker sound. That year’s single, “Take A Chance,” was all David Bowie vocals, Lost Highway sax, and synth-flecked come-ons. It was terrific. And then…silence. (Well, they did do “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” for our Public Domain video series, which was nice.)
That silence ended last week when Devil Met Contention released a new EP, Wait. The four-track shot is a continuation of the neon-drenched sound the group forged with “Take A Chance” (hell, one of the songs is called “Neon”), but it’s sharpened and refined into something even more evocative. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for driving through the city at night—searching for something, anything—you’ve found it.
Then there’s the video for the EP’s title track, in which frontman Ehson Rad takes to the streets and…goes to sleep? Rad explains:
“[Director] Kristin Peterson was inspired by the visual artist Pawel Jaszczuk who in 2008, captured Japanese business men, dressed in suits, who had fallen asleep on the streets of Tokyo. Along with the work of Allegra Pacheco documenting overwork in Japan, who used chalk outlines to highlight this phenomenon, our video grew from this concept of documenting ‘Karoshi.’
“In ‘Wait,’ our main character chooses, for unknown reasons, to go against social norms by publicly creating a ‘space of rest.’ Like the Japanese businessmen, that action becomes fascinating to the people on the street.”
Need more Devil Met Contention? Of course you do. The self-produced Wait will be followed by two more EPs later this year.