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Devin Townsend – ‘Snuggles’

HevyDevy Records
Brian Eno, Ulrich Schnauss, Phillip Glass, Pauline Oliveros
Release Date
December 3, 2021
HevyDevy Records
Ambient, New Age, Meditative, Chill Out

You wait ages for a new Devin album, …and we’ve been here before, quite recently, with companion piece “The Puzzle”. Whereas that is chaos and constant change, a reaction to the unprecedented times we live in; “Snuggles” is the opposite of chaos. It is effectively a 38-minute meditation in the key of F.

Devin’s last album proper was the epic opus “Empath” an album in the typically unpredictable Devin way, with everything from beach-side chill and kittens; to raging blast beats and death growl vocals. Quite often in the same song. “The Puzzle” takes that to the extreme of never reusing, or even developing a motif, riff, or groove; it is constant Brownian motion of sound and ideas. “Snuggles” is almost entirely unlike it; it takes a reverb and chorus heavy keyboard pad and uses every potential

outcome from one chord, and washes over and around the listener with occasional visiting sounds from wind instruments, violins, voices, guitars, and very gentle percussion.

This is further away from Metal than anything Devin has released with any sort of push towards his “mainstream” audience, there was “Devlab” and “The Hummer” in the way back when, but they were both pretty much tiny release runs for fan club members and completists. “Snuggles” is absolutely gorgeous chill-out music if life really has dealt you a bad one today and you need to take the pressure off and unwind.

Not as interesting in scope as “The Puzzle”, but compelling in a “gets under your skin” kind of way. Also worthy of note (and a nod to the future) is the sumptuous and organic orchestration and layering of voices; this was already a strong point in Devin’s work from “Synchestra” to the present day. This further step up in ability bodes well for the next full-scale release “Lightwork” due Spring 2022.

"It’s pretty much the best at what it does; but what it does is pretty much just one thing"

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