The collaboration between singer/songwriter Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, Bad Books, finds these two extraordinary tunesmiths untethered from their respective brands, joining forces to reach new stylistic and emotional terrain. Bad Books is a band emboldened and at ease enough to set out together for places unknown.
"Bad Books is my therapeutic outlet," says Hull, "a place I can go and do whatever I want in the moment. Somehow, amazingly, it works out."
"There's an openness and a playfulness to it," Devine says, "but it's still pretty serious music. It's a weird combination - we take the songs very seriously but we let ourselves loosen up about the results in a way that's different from either of our more personal projects. In a weird way, that allows for us to go certain places we might not go on our own."
The fast friendship between the Brooklyn-based Devine and Atlanta's own Manchester Orchestra began in 2007 and has since included multiple tours and a 2010 split EP in which each covered one of the other's songs. The more collaborative Bad Books followed later that year, featuring individually penned songs from Hull and Devine, backed by Hull's fellow Orchestra members. A number of well-received live dates followed, mostly acoustic, as well as further joint tours in other assorted permutations.