Shelburne Teacher releases new album, “Brideland”

·2 min read

The songs in his new album are deeply personal, as he explores the themes of relationships and family, during a time when people are learning more about both.

Devin Hentsch, an English teacher at Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS), released his sixth album under Devin and the Dark Light called “Brideland,” earlier this month. The album, which features eight original songs written by Hentsch throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, expresses what he calls the “spiritual domestic.”

“I think people are dealing with living together a lot more closely, and they’re learning to deal with conflict within their families, and also how to accept each other a lot more,” explains Hentsch to the Free Press. “The album kind of touches on that.”

Originally from Orangeville, Hentsch formed Devin and the Dark Light, back in 2005 as a music project, bringing in other artists to add their own parts to his songs. Since its formation, Devin and the Dark Light have played at venues in Toronto, Collingwood, Guelph, and Orangeville.

As an English teacher at Shelburne’s local high school for the last 15 years, Hentsch said he used song writing and music as a way to create outside his career as a teacher but over the years has brought it into his teaching.

“Teaching English is great for song writing, because you’re dealing with themes all the time, and you have to be very descriptive,” said Hentsch. “If you’re teaching poetry, you’re dealing with rhyme, and you’re dealing with imagery; these are all the things that I do in my music, and then bring them into the classroom.”

From the psychedelic sounds of harmonicas and synthesizers in the first song “Cellphone Light” to the indie rock drum loops in the last “Throwin’ Candy,” Hentsch said he tries to keep the music as experimental as possible.

“I get bored when I record so I try to, use all of the instruments I have available to me to create something new,” said Hentsch. “That’s always the attempt, instead of falling back into old patterns of rock and pop.”

While writing the album through COVID-19, a time when family and relationships have become increasing important, and with the recent release of “Brideland” both on CD and digitally, Hentsch will be donating the proceeds from sales to Shelburne’s local food bank, Shepherd’s Cupboard, until Dec. 21.

“I was sitting on the album and I didn’t know how I was going to release it. I thought this made the most sense since it’s an album about family and relationships,” he said.

“Brideland” is available for purchase online on the Devin and the Dark Light website, as well as at Aardvark Music in Orangeville.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press