New York, New York electronic pop-based Felix Devotion—Joel Uritescu’s stage name—released in October 2016 a five-track EP titled Feminine Being. This title captured my attention because it focuses on the balance in each individual between the masculine and feminine. In light of the sexism that still permeates so much of modern day discourse, this seemed like a potentially powerful release that needs to be heard.
When one thinks of electronic pop, uptempo and dance-inspiring beats come to mind. Devotion takes the slower approach; while the five numbers on his set are uptempo, they are slower than I have come to associate with the genre. They are also thicker and richer—and yet refreshingly sparse and clean-sounding in a modern electronic pop landscape that tends to overstuff each layer with a multitude of sounds.
The opening track, “At War”, gives a good taste of what is to follow. Devotion builds on a piano and synthesizer to create an invigorating yet relaxing soundscape for his vocals that reflects on the state of war urban life seems to trap us in. The tempo has a rhythmic cadence to it reminiscent of a marching army. In “Eden”, the vocals become more emotive as the melody gains some blues flavouring mingled with the overall 1980s electronic pop feel. While the tempo remains pretty similar, the energy increased manifold in “Freedom”, with a certain rawness in the vocals reflecting perhaps Devotion’s attachment to the concept.
There is a lot of symbolism within the danceable and inspiring “Dionysus”, much of which—if not all—might go over listeners’ heads should they not be paying attention. It’s the answer to those who think the genre is not meant for anything but superficial and lighthearted songs. While percussive elements permeate all the numbers in this set, they are particularly noteworthy in “St. Jerome”.
Feminine Being makes for a great listen for fans of electronic pop music. Fans of music with depth might want to also give it a try—they might enjoy unravelling the deeper meaning Devotion layered his EP with. Tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information about Felix Devotion and his music is available on his official Facebook page.