DeVotchKa grab some Microsoft payola

Musically stimulating band DeVotchKa have taken centre stage within a worldwide television commercial for Microsoft’s ‘Gears of War 2: The Last Day’, a game set for release this Christmas.

The sixty-second advertisement, which will be screened on both television and cinemas throughout the UK starting at the end of this week, is accompanied by ‘How It Ends’, the title track to DeVotchKa’s 2007 album. Here’s the original song, more after the break.

The commercial was created by the same team responsible for the
award-winning ‘Mad World’ (2006) advertisement for the original “Gears of War” campaign. ‘Gears of War 2: The Last Day’ is I n stores on Friday 7 November.

DeVotchKa released their latest album, on Anti-Records, ‘A Mad and Faithful Telling’, in March.  The band is a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble fusing Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, and Mariachi music with American punk and folk roots. They take their name from esteemed author Anthony Burgess’ Nadsat word for “young girl,” a term used in Burgess’s controversial work, ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

Based in Denver, Colorado, the DeVotchKa quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet.

The band originally came to attention through constant touring and self-released records – ‘SuperMelodrama’ in 2000, for instance, ‘Triple X Tango’ (2002) and ‘Una Volta’ (2003) – with DeVotchKa’s 2006 appearance at America’s Bonaroo Festival decisive in cementing the band’s reputation.
In between tours the band was picked by film directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to score ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, the enormously applauded independent movie that would go on to garner four Academy Award nominations.

DeVotchKa, along with Canadian composer Mycheal Danna, wrote and performed the majority of the music for the film, resulting in a 2006 Grammy Award nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack.

And the band’s great to watch live, as we ascertained when we encountered them at the Beautiful Days festival, months before they were signed , in 2007.

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