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September 2020 (Arlo Parks)
Album review

Pumarosa - Devastation

A record of uplifting darkness that cements Pumarosa in a league of their own.
Label: Fiction Records
Released: 15th November 2019
Rating: ★★★★★
Pumarosa - Devastation
Published: 10:00 am, November 13, 2019Words: Jamie Muir.

For some bands, ambition and reinvention is simply second nature to every step they make. Pumarosa’s debut album breathed with the sort of unstoppable identity that meant on each listen, more would emerge and embrace you in - welcoming a band with a distinct vision of who they wanted to be and the ability to back that all up. The swirling world and hypnotic ease of it all laid the groundwork for Pumarosa to pursue whatever move they wanted next, and it’s in that vein that ‘Devastation’ hits - as a record of uplifting darkness that cements Pumarosa in a league of their own.

Drenched in bubbling electronica, ‘Devastation’ feels like the rise from underneath drowning uncertainty. Sounds crash into each and ring like alarms, perfectly demonstrated by opener ‘Fall Apart’ and the building ‘Heaven’ serving up a continuous wrap from start to finish. Unafraid to push boundaries and fully submerge themselves, the results are stunning. Isabel Munez-Newsome leads it all, a voice cutting through dizzying electronica on ‘I See You’ and the swooping ‘Factory’ as confidence reigns. Whereas ‘The Witch’ felt rooted in something more physical, ‘Devastation’ reaches for the stars, the sound of a cinematic late-night club moving to its own beat while the spirits flow - even as ‘Into The Woods’,’I Am Lost’ expands into an overflowing cauldron of sound and the closing title track whacks an exclamation mark on the end.

What ‘Devastation’ does so well, is let Pumarosa be themselves right here and now. A record that takes the depths of the past few years and serves them into a statement of life and defiance, by the closing moments you feel like you’ve stared directly into the band’s soul. It’s only right that the last line you hear sung from Munez-Newsome is “just do what you want to” - because Pumarosa doing just that brings the best of results.

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