Devin Townsend has released his new album today- The Puzzle – a total DIY affair. Boxed-sets, physical merch, and more are available from his website and global webstores. The Puzzle has a companion album Snuggles that is also coming soon. Neither of these album are meant to be considered part of Devy’s regular output and he is still releasing yet another new album – Lightworker, in 2022. He has also shared a series of videos and posts explaining his rationale behind this new release, why it is coming out as a DIY project, and why it is different than his other projects. Listen now!
July 29, 2021
What is The Puzzle? The Puzzle is not meant to be an album. It is meant to be a musical and visual synopsis of the most messed up and stressed out period in my (our) recent history. 2020 and the Pandemic affected us all in one way or another and like many of us, I found myself isolated and having to find a way through the storm.
As I tried to write ‘songs’ at the start of the pandemic, I was constantly sidetracked by the abstract nature of the year. Following the path of least resistance is important to me as a musician, and it was soon apparent that this project (The Puzzle) wanted to come out. The process was convoluted and unique and the end result includes almost 50 of my friends and co workers. Through video chats and internet sharing, the music came together almost akin to a ‘slow motion jam session’ where people were encouraged to ‘do whatever they want’ to the pieces. This process created unique sounds, textures and challenges that ultimately represents to me like what this last year has felt like.
As an artist, I feel a responsibility not only to accurately and honestly represent my reality, (in whichever form it takes), but also to offer some sort of ‘solution’ that can bend the storm into something positive. And as much as this year has been supremely trying for all of us, it has also (unexpectedly) offered opportunities for self reflection that were simultaneously inescapable and yet ultimately productive. To hide from the fear, pain and anxiety was not possible… and even if it had been, it would have only postponed and elongated the process. The fastest way out is through, and perhaps sitting with the pain allowed me to deal with it in a way.
I wanted to represent this period through music and art, with my fiends via internet, in a way that helps. And because Puzzle is chaotic and dark (which is understandable) Snuggles was made in response to that. It was written to comfort people dealing with anxiety and trauma, and for me, it offered a solution to the anxiety I was feeling. ‘We are not our thoughts’ … its how we react to things we cant control that defines us in the end.
The Puzzle ultimately purged the chaos I was feeling and served a very practical purpose of ‘getting that out of the way’ so I may move forward and write songs without the nagging distractions of emotional turmoil that was not dealt with.
All these platitudes seem so trite, but I do feel some of them apply. We need to deal with this head on. We need to fight through it and come out stronger, but without ignoring how hard it has been. Please take care of yourself, thank you to everyone involved with this. I look foward to what comes next.
Lots of love, and in the words of a friend: ‘Take it easy… but take it’
Please be kind to each other