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Album Review: DE’WAYNE’s debut album is genre-bending, storytelling triumph

After signing to Hopeless Records and many months of hype, De’Wayne Jackson’s debut album is finally here- and you’ll be unable to resist jamming to every song.

How many genres find themselves woven into Stains? The limit does not exist. De’Wayne eschews the constraints of making just one type of song and, while that might sound overwhelming on paper, it works perfectly on this album. Opening with the frenetic “National Anthem”, the tone is set- or so you’re led to believe.

Where Stains really finds its strength is in the storytelling. De’Wayne has been through the grind, describing the late nights and the shitty jobs (see: “Walking to Work” and “Money”) all to reach this point in his just-beginning career. The album is fury and triumph, with all the highs and lows that come from pursuing a life in music.

De’Wayne also makes perfect use of his collaborations with some notable artists. The Waterparks clout lands firmly towards the end of the record with an appearance by Awsten Knight and “Jungle” features a co-write with Grandson. 

Every single track on Stains lands differently and yet none should be skipped or shuffled. De’Wayne is speaking his journey and his truth, bleeding raw power and emotion into this collection of songs. We could spend all day comparing his sound to others, but it’s where he takes those influences and finds his fresh take that he wins with this album. You won’t want to be caught sleeping on De’Wayne- he is the future and he’s just getting started. 

Stains is out now! 


Story by Olivia Khiel
Photo credit: Amy Fleisher Madder