What to Listen To: “Devotion”


Tirzah Mastin

“Devotion” is Tirzah’s first full-length album, released following a series of EPs from 2013 to 2015.

Alexander Balfanz, Co-Editor in Chief

When Tirzah’s album “Devotion” came out in 2018, I wasn’t a huge fan. It’s a slow (and often very repetitive) take on R&B that went over my head for a long time. Now, I’ve had it on repeat for the past several months. What changed?

First off, I’ve barely left my house since March (on account of COVID-19, obviously). Being cooped up for so long can take its toll on a person. Consequently, this year has been pretty isolating and stressful. Luckily, I’m the kind of person who can listen to a good album and instantly feel better.

It was during this time that I was curious to see if “Devotion” had aged well, and I pressed play on “Fine Again,” the album’s first track. As the keyboard faded in, I felt a strong sense of peace. There’s a coziness to the way the instruments stumble in and out, and in the way a tiny bit of static from the recording equipment seeps in underneath it all. There aren’t many lyrics to “Fine Again;” mostly, it’s just the title, repeated over and over again like a mantra. I closed my eyes and ran through the whole album in one sitting.

Like “Fine Again,” the rest of “Devotion” is very comforting. Each track contains its own hypnotic combination of rhythm and melody that’s practically meditative, which is exactly what I imagine many people need right now. There are a few tracks that especially stand out to me, like “Basic Need” and “Affection,” but this is less an album to pick songs out of and more an album to take in as one big, relaxing entity. If you’re a fan of R&B but are okay with something more minimalist than usual, I’d suggest giving this album a listen.