Los Angeles quartet Ramonda Hammer are preparing to release their debut album with the announcement of new cut ‘Better View’.
The quartet’s blistering guitars and frontwoman Devin Davis’s paint-peeling vocals – equally recalling past greats like Hole and like-minded contemporaries like Mannequin Pussy – form a strong support for lyrics that grapple with two years of emotional upheaval for Davis.
The album, titled I Never Wanted Company, is set for release on June 14 takes a hard look at her internal struggle between despairing loneliness and embracing independence. It follows on from their debut EP Destroyers.
Since the band released their EP, it cemented Ramonda Hammer as a tentpole act in LA’s surging community of woman- and queer-fronted bands, Davis struggled to come to terms with her codependency, fought against her own impulse to get overwhelmed by her own over-analysis, and got into her first queer relationship.
The result is an album that’s bruising, cathartic, searching, and ultimately therapeutic. The quartet (Davis on vocals and guitar, Justin Geter on guitar, Andy Hengl on bass and Mark Edwards on drums) has never sounded more powerful, providing a muscular frame for Davis’s cutting observations on her own life.
“No one is coming! No one!” she wails at the end of lead single “Hoax.” On its face, it’s a bleak and almost nihilistic statement – but then, it’s also a call to independence from the singer. She openly attempts to balance her need for others with her own self-reliance throughout the album.
Davis explains: “I don’t write lyrics about sex too much, but it’s an important part of attraction, understanding identity, and the difference between hetero and queer relationships – especially a queer relationship with a person who doesn’t identify with the body they were born into.”
I Never Wanted Company is clearly a document of a songwriter and a band refining a true and honest sound. Ramonda Hammer has become central to a burgeoning L.A. scene the band helped build over the last few years, a scene which in turn has begun launching its bands onto the national stage. But it’s also a personal document for Davis, and one she hopes to offer as a guide to people who want to take better control over their own lives and emotions.
“I’m an anxious person,” Davis says. “It helps me to play loud, loud, loud rock music with gritty sounds and brash lyrics. I want to challenge people, and help them find independence and self-acceptance. Sometimes you need people to scream at you – in a loving way – to wake you up.”