Los Angeles-based Dev gained stardom when her track “Booty Bounce” was sampled by Far East Movement back in 2010 in their single “Like a G6.” She has had multiple singles and one album that came out in 2011. Her first EP, Bittersweet July, was released last month. The EP is a blend of hip-hop, dance music and electropop, but it’s still true to Dev’s sound.
The EP opens with “Honey Dip,” which is an electrpop-infused track that has Dev singing but also rapping along the chorus. The song is easily a club track, with its heavy electronic beat and a mix of synthesizer throughout. Dev commands the track not only with her singing, but also dominates with a strong rap verse. She has similarly mixed the two styles in previous singles like “Fireball” and “Booty Bounce.”
The second song on the EP is “Feel It” which is less electropop and feels more like an early 2000s club anthem. Dev’s voice is completely different in this track and takes on an electronic sound. Her voice sounds more edited and has that futuristic feel that most clubs end up having, as the song relies heavily on a synthesizer. It is also heavy in the drum and bass department, and almost has a pulsating sound to it.
“Baby, We Go” is a classic Dev track. The song is more based around Dev’s voice and her lyrical work as opposed to the backing track and music. The song is airy while commanding its electronic background, but it’s still a club track. Lyrically, it’s also very much a Dev song in that she talks about love and being with a boy, also discussing first love. The lyrics are catchy, and though the EP was released on the heels of fall, it’s easily a summer song.
The only single to come off the EP was “Kids.” It is bass heavy with a catchy hook that leads into pop-laden chorus. “Kids” mixes Dev’s singing with her rap hooks, which ends up making the song all about the chorus and the hip-hop flow she has. For many Dev fans, the beat is similar to her “Kiss It” single, which came out earlier this year. Like “Kiss It,” “Kids” relies on drum bass and Dev’s ability to almost sound like she is speaking along the rap verse. If the listener were to hear both tracks at the same time, the beats would sound almost identical in some parts.
The last song on the EP is “Who Needs A Heart,” which is the lightest of all the songs on the EP. It has less drum and bass, or even any sort of electropop beats. All of the focus is on Dev’s voice, at least until the chorus comes in. Then it changes to more of a dance track, which, again, has early 2000s influences throughout. It’s an oddly familiar song, though Dev hasn’t produced too many others that sound like it. Free from the electro influence, it allows Dev to shine as an artist, and the listener can appreciate her voice.
Bittersweet July is out on iTunes, and Dev is currently doing small venue tours while working on her next album. Though more information is expected later this year, Dev hasn’t made any official announcements.