Both enigmatic and exquisitely surreal in tone, the lyrical lashings that strike out at all within earshot of the lead vocal in Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite’s “Devil’s In My Car” are definitely among the all-new single’s boldest attributes. Even in their most fundamentally vulnerable of moments, these verses draw us into the web of harmonies that forms around their every word. In the three and a half minutes that the song and its music video last, we’re offered a venture into the mad mind of a Canadian group that is scoring a lot of buzz with North American audiences right now – and rightly so.

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The rhythm here is pendulous, but I wouldn’t go as far as to describe it as being sluggish. The urgency in “Devil’s In My Car” is in the execution of the guitars, the moan of the vocals, the unsettling leer of the distant organ, and never in the band’s general style of attack. It would have been easier for Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite to synchronize their tempo with the angst-ridden energy of their music, but that wasn’t enough for these guys – they set out to make something multilayered and endlessly stimulating, and ultimately went in the right direction to accomplish just that in this release.

I would have liked a little more volume out of the vocal component in this single, but the lack of muscularity (particularly later on in the track) in the serenade isn’t enough for me to dismiss “Devil’s In My Car” as being one of this group’s less than stellar submissions. The bones of this composition are unquestionably strong, and although the haunting harmonies tend to garner the lion’s share of our focus at the start of the song, every element present becomes quite rousing by the time that we reach the finish line.

As much as I dug this single all by itself, its music video is on a completely different level of engagement. The brilliantly cerebral directing style has as many dips and twists as a west coast rollercoaster would, but it never feels severe, jarring or uncomfortably postmodern. Contrarily, the unpredictability of the images makes the song’s lyrics even more accessible and tangible to listeners that might have had a difficult time sifting through these poeticisms on their own. It’s one of my favorite new music videos for sure, and a viewing experience that I would tell anyone who loves solid indie folk/rock to take a look at on the next possible occasion.

Tailor-made for the discriminating alternative fan who’s grown tired of the recycled products that the mainstream music machine has been spitting out in the late 2010s, “Devil’s In My Car” is a must-listen this fall and an excellent addition to an already fascinating body of work by Patiently Awaiting the Machine. This band only has one official LP under their belts, but as long as they continue to expand upon the sound that they’re introducing us to here (and, more specifically, in this track’s parent album Canyon Diablo), there should be no reason for anyone to think that they won’t be a major player in Canada and abroad in the next decade to come.

Sebastian Cole