Amigo The Devil

Amigo The Devil

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings, Rattlesnake Milk

$27.50

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Amigo The Devil

Amigo The Devil

In the vast realm of modern folk and alternative rock, Amigo The Devil is an artist who channels a voice of unsettling beauty and raw truth. Splicing alarming honesty with personal realizations, his narratives carry weight, wisdom and wit. Nestled within the corners of Amigo the Devil’s haunting melodies and daring experimentation lies a tale as profound as the dirges he sings.

With a brilliant mind, full soul and a penchant for the obscure, Amigo the Devil’s songwriting harkens back to a more brutal state of songwriting. His songs are greatly influenced by the honesty of Leonard Cohen, the creativity of Tom Waits and the ruthlessness of Chavela Vargas. Rather than imitate, he identifies with their authentic disregard of consequences when it comes to songwriting and releasing music. Amigo the Devil is not polished or clean – he’s all heart, with reckless abandon. His understanding of emotions is deep and instinctual, choosing to embrace one’s flaws instead of trying to change them.

The son of a Greek father and Spanish mother, Amigo the Devil – otherwise known as Danny Kiranos – is a first-generation American from South Florida. He came of age in downtown Miami during the mid-1980s when the city was equal parts thriving, diverse and dirty. With a lust for travel and unusual experiences, Kiranos bounced around from city to city – 16 in total from LA to Europe – before he finally found a home in Texas. It was there, in Austin, that Amigo the Devil took root.

Kiranos spent significant portions of his earlier career embracing an almost nomadic lifestyle, absorbing tales from the underworld and penning songs about other wandering or lost souls. These stories, from the tragic to the comedic, found their way into his lyrics, and  gained a steady fellowship of fans along the way.

Amigo the Devil’s first full-length album, Volume 1, released as an amalgamation of three earlier EPs. Laden with stories of his travels, relationships, and existential musings, the collection gave birth to ballads both mournful and satirical, including “Hell and You,” “I Hope Your Husband Dies” and “One Kind of People.” In 2018, Amigo the Devil released a proper studio album, Everything is Fine, which brought forth chantable ditties like “Hungover in Jonestown” as well as his dubiously introspective, “Cocaine and Abel.”

His first works showed the promise of the masterful songwriter Amigo the Devil has become. Early releases were dominated by dark tales of serial killers and the macabre mixed into a layered, deeper meaning. In themselves, the songs are genius. But as he grew as a songwriter the music grew with it, leading into a turning point that began shifting the tides for Kiranos’ songs. “For the first time,” he mentioned in an interview, “I began seeing the light at the end of this dark, winding tunnel I’d been singing about.”

This newfound perspective became evident in his 2021 album, Born Against, released under his independent label Liars Club Records. The music, while retaining its eerie charm, began to venture into territories of acceptance and redemption. The raw experimentation and flirtation with unconventional instruments all mirrored Amigo the Devil’s journey of self-discovery and growth. Born Against garnered critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Consequence, No Depression and American Songwriter, which described Amigo the Devil as “an artist who gives full reign to intrigue and intellect in equal measure.”

The next chapter of Amigo the Devil continues with the February 2024 release of Yours Until the War is Over – his most disarming and singular work to date. The first taste arrives with “Cannibal Within,” a song that descends to the depth of the human experience. Self-produced and recorded in a backwoods bar-turned-studio, the banjo-driven track speaks to honesty without pity. Experimental percussion – like the repetitive dropping of a pick, bottle tinks and the clacking of toy teeth – immerses the listener within an internal dialogue of self-doubt and insecurities, personified.

The 13 tracks that make up Yours Until the War is Over together weave themes of relatable self destruction and trauma bonding with arresting authenticity. Riddled with obscure literary references – akin to Kiranos’ maniac reading habit – the album proves that this whole Amigo the Devil thing isn’t some true crime niche. Yours Until the War is Over is a songwriter's record.

Similar to Waits and Cohen, Amigo the Devil embodies the truest form of an artist in this new work. Inspired by a mantra adopted from unexpected, late-night advice, he doesn’t have to “be the story to tell the story.” Songwriting doesn’t have to be linear, or biographical.

“I don’t write songs for a purpose. The beauty lies in how people take them – the magic happens between the songwriter and the listener in that shared moment,” explains Kiranos. “Once this new record comes out, it’s not mine anymore. And that’s why we keep writing records, because then we have something that’s only ours again, even if just for a little while. Like wounded wildlife, you nurse them back to health and then you have to let them go.”

In a world filled with fleeting tunes and temporary stars, artists like Amigo the Devil are the reminders of the power of storytelling – of music’s age-old role in narrating human emotion. Kiranos seems to be on a lifelong journey, not just of personal discovery, but of reminding us all of the roots, the rawness and the reality that music can offer.

Despite his growing notoriety, Amigo the Devil remains enigmatic. He isn't one to bask in the limelight, choosing once again to let his art speak for itself.

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings

TK & The Holy Know-Nothings

Rattlesnake Milk

Rattlesnake Milk
Venue Information:
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW

Washington, DC, 20001