Los Angeles’s “next-wave” artist DGTL CLR – aka Devereaux Jennings – crafts an intoxicatingly intricate blend of 90s electro, synth-pop, and funky instrumentals behind velvety vocals with his newest album, Tetra.
The seven-track odyssey kicks with “Letting Go,” weaving vintage synth with a modern sensibility before Jennings introduces Sandra, the title character behind the second song on Tetra.
“Sandra’s in my gym class
And all the boys are gonna stare at Sandra
So I guess I’ll look the other way
‘Cause I don’t want her just to think that I’m the same.”
“Starlight” is quivering and driving, synth over a pounding dance rhythm that fades in and out of focus, a long night at an overly crowded club captured in a song. It’s sweaty and seductive and wild and ecstatic, the antithesis to the more subtle – yet equally danceable – “The Fire In Me,” where Jennings expresses his dedication over swirling synth and a nonstop high-hat groove.
“There’s nothing you can say to make me walk away from you.”
As listeners race toward the end of a record that just isn’t quite long enough, “Hold On” slows down the journey. It’s robotic and futuristic, but there’s something very 80s about it; I can picture silver parachute pants, overly-hairsprayed hair, and blue lipstick, silhouettes against a background of light.
“Haircut,” the final track, is all whispered vocals and offbeat, rhythmic synth that tickles the ears as it pans across the speakers. The vocals are haunting, heavy with echo as they howl across the new-wave soundscape and leave nothing but a memory of a blurry night.
Stream the premiere of Tetra here: