Deva Mahal



May 15, 2019
82 Picks

Let’s hear it for the noble cuttlefish! Nature’s second best cephalopod (you know I love you, giant squids) was an unlikely inspiration for Deva Mahal’s new single with soul great Son Little. As Mahal tells us, “I discovered the very amusing mating rituals of cuttlefish and found myself examining the experience of infidelity through their world. I’m a big fan of David Attenborough and am obsessed with Blue Planet. The smaller male cuttlefish resorts to all sorts of tactics in order to find his mate. A little makeup, a little tuck, change in their demeanor, a little subterfuge, all is pursuit of spreading their seed. Sounds a lot like human nature to me. When I shared my inspiration with Son Little, he instantly found it as amusing as me and we started writing on the spot. I guess he understood my weird.”

Despite the song’s marine inspiration, the soulful jam is a distinctly terrestrial affair. With a roots vibe and infectious hook, it’s a song designed to hit all the sweet spots for human ears. (note to self: spend the rest of the afternoon on a Wikipedia binge reading up on cephalopod hearing…) Deva Mahal and Son Little have a clear vocal chemistry, playing off each other with the kind of lived-in playfulness that can only come from two people who truly understand each others’ weird. In an era where collaborations often feel like they were planned out in a board room, it’s rare for a collaboration to feel this lived in.

So thanks cuttlefish. Sorry about all the ocean acidity and stuff and the plastic bags in the Mariana Trench. We’re not really working on it, nor do we have any plans to do so in the future. But, uh, you inspired a dope song?

Update: it turns out cuttlefish eat other cuttlefish? Yo fuck those little sea monsters.