Vancouver, He Loves You. Meet Local Musician, Devours


By Rachel Rosenberg

Devours, aka Jeff Cancade, is originally from Nanaimo, but has lived in Vancouver since 2010. His star is rising quickly as a local indie musician, prolifically popping up at shows all over – 50 in the last 3 years, performing at venues such as The Toast Collective, The Biltmore Cabaret, and the no-longer-with-us Cobalt. This past spring, he toured Vancouver Island and Eastern Canada with fellow local performer Kellarissa. We spoke to Devours about the indie music scene in Vancouver.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

“Confessional queer bedroom synth pop music. Friends have described it as Depeche Mode meets Robyn, which makes me happy. I see my new album as a hybrid of late 90’s nu metal, Britney Spears circa 2007, and vintage Nintendo themes, but if it sounds anything close to Depeche Mode and/or Robyn, I’m thrilled.”

Do you think that Vancouver is a good city for an out LGBTQ2+ artist to begin a career?

“Absolutely. I spent years in the gay community in Vancouver (the bear community to be specific), and when I finally managed to break into the local indie arts & music scene, it occurred to me how little crossover there was between communities. There weren’t many outspoken LGBTQ+ musicians in the scene at the time, but in the past few years, more and more LGBTQ+ bands and artists have been appearing and receiving attention.

There are definitely festival opportunities here for LGBTQ+ musicians; Khatsahlano, Music Waste, and Fringe Fest (to name a few) have all done an incredible job of bridging the gap and creating diverse, queer-friendly lineups. CiTR has been making big moves to highlight queer artists as well; I was really fortunate to play Victory Square Block Party back in September, and over half the lineup was a part of the LGBTQ+ family. Not a lot of people commented on it, but I saw it as a defining moment for the scene here.”

Do you have recommendations for the best way to find new local artists?

“Yes – if you want to discover local underground indie music, check out the Music Waste Festival and Shindig lineups each year. The Khatsahlano Festival lineup is always fantastic as well, and gives you a diverse cross-section of local talent to discover (from mainstream to indie in all genres). If you’re on Spotify, Vancouver I Love You, Weird Pop Vancouver, and Said the Whale’s This Is Vancouver Music are love letters to the indie scene that feature a ton of cool local artists. Last but not least, listen to CiTR and CJSF – so many good local radio shows on both stations.”

What music have you heard recently and gotten really excited about? 

Freedom by Amen Dunes was my favourite album of 2018. Runner-up was probably Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy. Flasher’s Constant Image is in high rotation as well. I have also been revisiting a lot of Hollywood soundtracks, such as Thomas Newman’s score for American Beauty and Philip Glass’ Candyman score.”

Do you have a favourite Vancouver Music Festival to perform at and why?

“Music Waste is so inspiring to me. It’s an entirely volunteer-run annual 4-day festival that takes place all across the city, and it does an amazing job of highlighting our diverse underground music scene. It started up in the mid 90’s and is still going as strong as ever, despite not having corporate sponsorship or very much press, so it’s a perfect example of how generous, resilient, and supportive the indie community is in Vancouver.”

Devours has recently signed to Artoffact Records, who are releasing his sophomore album Iconoclast on March 8. If you can’t wait that long to experience his musical stylings, he’s performing on December 31 at The Clubhouse (238 East 1st Ave). Tickets for The Dark 80s Does NYE with Devours are available here.

You can get his first album, Late Bloomer, through Bandcamp, and it is both über-danceable and brazenly introspective.


Rachel Rosenberg is a writer and library technician who is a proud member of the LGBTQ2+ community. She writes for Book Riot and can be found on Instagram @penandmitten 

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