Since Nick De La Hoyde established his dedicated EDM/lofi trio D.E.L with his brothers Joe and Timm, it seems he’s decided to focus more on the pop end of things with his solo work, at least for now. While D.E.L focuses on sound design, EDM beats and ravey composition, Nick’s last few singles have been more pop-leaning, albeit still beautifully produced with the help of those same brothers. “Devotion” is the latest example of the heady, almost ballad-like vibes this musician is capable of conjuring.
The last track You EDM looked at from Nick and his brothers, “About U,” came as a double release with a D.E.L track called “Yoko,” and it’s clear in both those tracks there’s a bit of mingling of styles. With the last track of the year, however, there seems to be a conscious shift to more indie pop vibes. “No Sense” was a look at anxiety from inside one’s own head and the swirling thoughts that can lead to being overwhelmed. Certainly resonant with the bulk of the western world at the moment as a concept, “No Sense” has a Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out” vibe that, while it uses some electronic production methods, lands squarely on the side of indie pop.
Written by all three De La brothers, “Devotion” is only pop in terms of composition, really and it’s interesting to see them delve even deeper into indie pop. Hearkening back to indie pop’s inception with bands like fellow Aussies INXS (there’s a strong “Never Tear Us Apart” vein here), “Devotion” is bluesy, dramatic, melodic and orchestral in addition to indie and poppy. Probably one of the biggest tracks in terms of sound saturation the trio have made to-date, fans will swear they’ve heard it in a blockbuster movie. Nick, Timm and Joseph’s work has always been high quality but this is a new echelon. If “Devotion” isn’t in a film by summer, that’s the industry’s loss.
It seems that separating their projects into D.E.L and Nick’s “solo” stuff has freed up the De La Hoydes to play with style, substance and genre on both sides of things, though fans probably shouldn’t get too comfortable with one being EDM and the other being pop. If anything it looks like the brothers will be folding even more mashups into their work, and no one said there wouldn’t be crossover work again. It just seems all part of the ever-expanding De La Hoyde pop/indie pop/EDM/blues/lofi/whatever else empire, and we’re definitely here for it.