L Devine’s Message to a Homophobic Mom Perfectly Captures One Key Part of the Queer Experience

Sometimes a piece of art hits the heart hard.

L Devine/Twitter

This week: “Daughter” by L Devine (Warner Bros. Records UK, 2018)

Why we’re into it: Part confession and part love letter, this track is vulnerable and honest, evoking an inner and outer world of character and conflict.

Coming out is one of the most sacred and personal experiences for queer people. It can require conquering your darkest fears and immense vulnerability, while demanding unprecedented blind trust and leaps of faith. It’s a deeply personal moment that differs for everybody, but also holds some universal truths that all queer people can relate to. Those truths are all expressed in L Devine’s “Daughter.”

First, it’s a love letter about her girlfriend: “I love her soft lips and rosy cheeks/Only secret that she would keep.” But it’s not addressed to her girlfriend, but to her girlfriend’s homophobic mom. “It goes against everything that you taught her/But I’m sorry miss, I’m in love with your daughter,” she confesses as her voice soars with relief, lyrical honesty supercharged by elation. The point of view then shifts into a look at the mother’s hurt, and in doing so it reveals the pain felt by L. “Said, ‘What about kids? All the hopes I had for her.'”

Behind the lyrics are powerful instrumentals that intensify the emotional power of the song. As L weaves from love to anxiety, relief to fear, the electric guitar rises and falls, the beat follows suit, but never becomes melodramatic. Sometimes a piece of art hits the heart hard, and that’s the case with this track. With her rare ability to capture the complexities of emotions with precision and craft a complex and relatable story, L Devine is a standout.

Take a listen to the whole EP and you’ll see her formidable talent in all the songs, but this one is the perfect way to begin 2019—and the perfect way to leave the homophobia of 2018 back where it belongs.

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