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One Track Mind: Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud – Lucky Animals

Natalie Zina Walschots

Devin Townsend is the closest thing that the Canadian heavy music scene has to a genuine mad scientist. Every single one of his records is ax experiment, often combining wildly different elements and influences into a complex, roiling alchemical reaction. Some of his recent work, like Deconstruction, has been incredibly heavy an complex, deploying full orchestration and choral vocals in the service of metal; other offerings, like Deconstruction‘s lunar twin Ghost, are stark, spare, emotive albums. With Epicloud, Townsend has taken his previous efforts, distilled and refined the techniques into a streamlined version of themselves and deployed them in a very different direction than he has in the past: he has made a pop record.

“Lucky Animals” is a cheeky, catchy piece with a throbbing, slightly groovy rhythm and plants itself firmly in your head and refused to get out. The track, which as first listen seems silly and light to the point of almost being frivolous, with repeated listens shows itself to be more sophisticated and even a little ominous. The lyrics reflect upon the fact that animals are lucky, presumably because they are driven my instinct and unbothered by the complications of consciousness, whereas people are constantly worried about whether or not they are in control of themselves. “Lucky Animals” reminds us that the conscious mind is not a light switch that can be turned off, but rather a complex and constantly whirring machine that can break down.

To suit the ridiculous/seriousness of “Lucky Animals,” the unofficial music video for the song features Devin Townsend dancing.

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