DEB NEVER – WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? EP REVIEW

One thing about being an avid music writer and lover like me is there are so many artists I want to write and talk about but do not get a chance to. Deb Never is an artist that I have been meaning to write about for about a year or so, but I just have not gotten the chance(I try to keep up with reviews of new music as much as possible and I do not get a ton of chances to just write about random artists I like). I am so glad Deb Never has released this new EP because it forces me to write about her. Deb Never has an approach to Alternative and Indie Rock music that is entirely her own. Her sound typically has a lo-fi and distorted feeling that sounds very DIY yet is so intricate. In a way, reminds me of. 90s Alternative Rock a bit. Her delivery, specifically in verses, has a bit of a Hip Hop element to it. A lot of the time, it sort of feels like she is sing-rapping in a way. Because of her quirky delivery and different approach to making instrumentals, Deb Never has a fresh and unique sound within the already expansive Alternative music genre. With that being said, here my opinion on Deb Never’s EP Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Please let me know in the comments below what your opinion on this EP is, and also let me know in the comments what your favorite songs from this project are.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone? starts with the song ‘Sorry.’ This song is nothing like I have heard from Deb Never in the past; it does not sound out of place or unnatural for her, though. Remember in the intro for this review where I said Deb Never uses a Hip Hop flow in a lot of her songs? Well, that is not the case at all for the song ‘Sorry.’ This song starts with a slow Indie Acoustic Rock sound. The instrumental is so sweet and soft, and Deb Never’s silky and buttery vocals are perfect for the instrumental. Towards the end of the song, everything starts to get heavy and distorted. The instrumental almost turns into a melodic Dubstep Metal mashup, and Deb Never’s vocals become inaudible and saturated. It seems like this is meant to represent the feeling of despair Deb experiences in the song. On ‘Sorry,’ Deb is singing about being heartbroken and not being able to get over her ex. Everything she does reminds her of her ex, and she can’t find a way to find joy in the things that usually make her happy. The next song, ‘Stupid’ brings Deb Never’s Hip Hop side to the forefront. In fact, this track feels like a lo-fi Trap song more than anything. The melody and riff do have a soft Indie Rock feeling to them, making the Hip Hop elements of the song pop. This is a very cool sound that you probably do not hear anywhere else. On ‘Stupid,’ Deb Never is elaborating about her awful breakup from the previous song. Being with this person was like being on hard drugs; the highs that she would get felt awesome, but the lows were like the worst withdrawal she could imagine. Ultimately, she knows that she is way better off with this person not in her life. Following this, we get ‘Someone Else,’ which is another song that has a sound I would not have necessarily expected to hear from Deb Never. The melody and production style have a late 90s Contemporary Alternative Acoustic Rock sound to them. It is so calming and nice to listen to, and it almost gives a bit of a nostalgic feeling. Her vocal delivery on this song is so pleasing; I love her slow and soft approach to this track. Her Hip Hop style delivery gives her a bit more of a serious and tough image, and I think it is cool to hear this side of her. The end of this song veers off into a bit of craziness similar to what the first song did. The end of ‘Someone Else’ speeds up and starts to sound like a Jersey Club beat. It is a very interesting way to end the song, and it keeps the listeners on their toes. The Hip Hop flair that makes Deb Never stand out so much comes back in a big way on the song ‘Disassociate.’ This is another song that feels just as much like a lo-fi Cloud Trap as it does an Indie Pop track. Even though this track has a very minimalistic sound, the feelings of somber and despair cut through like a knife. The struggle and pain that Deb Never is experiencing in this song are palpable. Towards the end of the song, a heavy amount of distortion comes into the instrumental. This just adds to the negative feeling that was already permeating throughout the rest of the track.

I could try put in the time, from nine to five.
You get me high, out of my mind, my sweet and spice. Say the word, I’ll take the ride, I’m falling fast. But if I die, it’s worth the life, my sweet and spice
… – ‘Sweet & Spice’ feat. Jim E. Stack

‘Sweet & Spice,’ which is a collaboration with the producer Jim E Stack, is another song that completely creates a juxtaposition between the song’s sound and lyrical content. The instrumental has a fun and upbeat Indie Pop sound; it consists of a dreamy and airy melody that makes you feel like cruising down the street on a summer night with the windows down, and a beat that makes it impossible to not want to bop your head or move your feet. Deb Never has an interesting delivery on this track that reminds me of funk artists like Anderson.Paak. On this track, Deb Never seems to be listing all of the negatives of her relationship, but saying screw it and staying with her person anyway. Even though she knows it is a toxic situation, the highs of the relationship are making her stay when she shouldn’t. The next track, ‘Funky,’ is another that feels like a straight mash-up of acoustic Indie Pop and melodic lo-ti Cloud Trap music. I love how much this song toes the line between Hip Hop and Alternative; everything about the instrumental and vocal delivery seems to fit directly in between these two genres. This song goes so hard but feels so calm and soft at the same time. On ‘Funky,’ Deb Never is singing about taking life day by day and trying not to let everything overwhelm you. It is so easy to become over-stimulated and let the world feel like it is too big and intense. Deb Never is reminding us to take it easy. Following this, we get ‘Coca Cola,’ which is a song with a production style that is as strange if not stranger than anything else on the EP(which is saying a lot). The beat kind of feels like a crossover between 90s Hip Hop and Contemporary Alternative, and the melody kind of feels like a crossover between Indie Pop and slow Grunge. I love the distortion on the melody, as it creates a fuzzy yet anxious feeling that is palpable. On ‘’Coca Cola,’ Deb is once again singing about a tumultuous relationship that she is addicted to. The good times always seem to outweigh the bad with this person, so she puts up with their crap when she shouldn’t. The project closes out with ‘Red Eye,’ which is another Alternative lo-fi Hip Hop song. This song probably feels the most like a true Hip Hop song out of everything on this EP. This song reminds me a lot of the Lil Peep. He was able to toe the line in between Hip Hop music and Alternative Rock in a way that was unlike anyone else, and I think this song is as close to how he did it as I have heard. The melody and Deb Never’s vocals are so atmospheric and otherworldly on this song. The song makes me feel like I am floating on air when listening to it. On ‘Red Eye,’ Deb seems to be debating with herself whether she should stay with her partner or part with her. There are a lot of things about their relationship that she loves, and there are a lot of things she knows she could do without. Ultimately, Deb decides they need a little time apart to think about themselves and what they want. Since she can’t decide what she wants right now, she figures she can just make a decision at some point in the future when she is more sure.

As I stated before, Deb Never is a musician I have wanted to cover for a while because I think her sound and style are so interesting and different. I am so glad this EP came out when it did, as it finally forced me to cover one of my favorites up-and-coming artists. Deb Never’s Where Have All The Flowers Gone? is an excellent Indie-Pop project that draws influence from a few kinds of music. Deb Never goes back and forth between lo-fi Emo and Cloud Trap music and distorted 90s Alternative Rock that has a Grunge element to it. Depending on the song, she usually leans a little bit one way or the other; some songs feel a lot more Hip Hop than Rock, and vice versa. I also appreciate the strange and warped outros some of these sounds have, as they add to the feelings portrayed by the lyricism in these tracks. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? is an EP that stands out in the Indie music landscape in a big way, and I think Deb Never is a star who needs way more recognition.

Favorite Tracks – Stupid, Sorry, Disassociate, Sweet & Spice feat. Jim E. Stack, Funky, Red Eye

8.6/10

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