Formed in Denver by multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Tom Hagerman (violin, accordion), Jeanie Schroder (sousaphone, bass), and percussionist Shawn King, DeVotchKa is a four-piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble.
Originally a backing group for local burlesque shows, they take their name from the Russian word meaning “girl” and recorded their debut album, SuperMelodrama, in 2000. The band finds their groove as a cross-pollination of numerous influences, and styles of gypsy punk, dark cabaret, indie folk, and indie rock.
We spoke to Urata about his amazing career which has been just as varied and unique as his musical tastes. Nick comes from a musical family and his love of music began at a very young age.
Moving from marching band to six-stringed instruments, he fell hopelessly in love with guitar and playing live music. However Nick’s early exposure to accordion music set him off on a path that helped form the foundation for the music he makes today.
Additionally, he and his band members were huge fans of film scores and they got their big break writing music for Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ Little Miss Sunshine. From there, multiple doors opened, and Nick has done the music to Crazy Stupid Love, Paddington, The Cobbler and plenty other titles.
Weaving back and forth between band work and film music, his resume is filled with charming, off-beat, whimsical and otherwise unique projects which totally suit his musical sensibilities. Yet it is his latest film score that seems most in line with the music he truly loves to make.
In Martin Krejčí‘s film, The True Adventures of Wolfboy, Urata’s score provides a perfect acoustic backdrop for this fish-out-of-water story turned road trip flick. It’s a film we don’t see too often these days. Like Nick’s music, it’s unfamiliar yet tangible and the mix of adventure and romance reminds us of ’80s type fare similar to The Goonies.
Along for this lively auditory road trip, we were joined by our good friend Bryan Kluger of BoomStickComics. Enjoy our time with Nick Urata!
The True Adventures of Wolfboy is directed by Martin Krejčí‘ and stars Jaeden Martell, Sophia Giannamore, Chris Messina, Chloë Sevigny and John Turturro. From Vertical Entertainment, the film was released in select theaters and VOD on October 30th, 2020 in the US. The soundtrack is released by Milan Records and Sony Music Records and is out now.
A coming of age journey about a boy with an illness that causes hair growth over the entirety of his face and body. After a disastrous carnival experience, he goes in search of his mother who abandoned him at birth. In the wilds of New Jersey he finds fast friends, but is pursued by an enigmatic carnival owner, and a police officer enlisted by his father.
For more on Nick Urata and Devotchka, you can check out their official website here. Nick’s other recent endeavor is the score to the documentary 17 Blocks which should be released later this year.