It's no surprise that Found Magazine's Davy Rothbart lends his endorsement to Devon Sproule. Her music is a collection of found influences: a little bluegrass here, some well-behaved jazz there, the raw jittery nerve of Joni Mitchell, and a whole heaping serving of detail-soaked songwriting. Her fourth album, Keep Your Silver Shined, is unmatched in its sweetness and sincerity, wooing you with some good ole-fashioned Southern hospitality and flaunting itself with the robust flair of a peacock flashing its wave of colors.
In the love song to her home state, "Old Virginia Block," Sproule paces the song with a firm and deliberate hand, only to let it all loose with a flurry of frenzied lyrics: "The gleam of your white underclothes/In the back seat, in the Blue Ridge/The pile of bacon by a couple fried eggs/Kiss marks and hearts on a picnic table leg."
If there is any doubting the talent of Sproule, one needs look no further than the title track of the album. The song reads like a grocery list of tender requests, one after the other, and despite the personalized concept behind it, there is not even a hint of narcissism here. Sproule's requests are modest, as she wonders, "What, oh, what more could a woman want?/I want an overhaul for my guitar/A claw foot tub and a shiny car," before settling on her pressing needs: "I want to land in a tugging hand/A youthful bed with a youthful plan/I want to wait and take my time/All the time, to keep my silver shined."
Behind the vintage dresses and Southern Belle front, Sproule swells with the old soul knowledge of a songwriter whose skills transcend any given place or time in music. By being timeless in its influences, her music itself is timeless, the sum of its carefully assembled parts. It's because of this that both Sproule and Keep Your Silver Shined will be relevant for a long time to come.
Devon Sproule performs at Mississippi Studios on Thursday, May 31 at 8 pm.