Gentle Return

New album In the Eyes of a Stranger out October 29th, 2021

In the Eyes of a Stranger album cover
Click to download high resolution photo

Pre-order on Bandcamp for early access and extra artwork

Pre-save on Spotify to be notified when the album is live



See YouTube for more


gentle return with ocean and trees
High res
gentle return with tree blended over head
High res
gentle return in mirror
High res


Short bio

Plants as music 💐

Long bio

Gentle Return from San Francisco brings emotional vulnerability and sonic experimentation to indie rock and pop music, a strange and wondrous successor to acts like Animal Collective, St. Vincent, and Elliot Smith.

In 2012, musician, songwriter, and producer Devin Lane embarked upon an overland journey from San Francisco to Cusco, Peru where he lived for a year, playing with local musicians and writing music. Upon his return, Devin recorded Gentle Return’s debut album South, which he self-released in 2017, weaving field recordings with his own original songwriting into a weird-pop tapestry, reflecting on travel, identity, and mental health.

Upon return to San Francisco, Devin enmeshed himself in the Bay Area DIY scene and formed the band Real Real Talk with Ash Clayton, Kellen Morimoto and Sean Real (composer for the podcast 99% Invisible and previous member of Little Teeth). The band’s two year tenure resulted in two EPs and two tours.

After three solo US tours in 2017-18, including a 30-show tour in part with Rosie Cima and Logan Greene/Sophie McTear (Diet Pop), Devin finished recording This Is Really Happening primarily in his San Francisco bedroom. The 2020 sophomore effort reflects on anxiety and self-criticism, isolation and loneliness in the 21st century, the dissociative heartbreak of internet dating, and trying to find peace within oneself.

In 2019 Devin began an intention to write a song everyday (throughout the writing and recording of This Is Really Happening), which morphed into an inclination to sit and record musical ideas most days. The result is 2021's In the Eyes of a Stranger, which asks how we might show love and empathy while also recognizing our healthy boundaries; how we might connect our hearts and show vulnerability when we struggle to trust; how we might re-learn our connection to time and place; how a simple habit or ritual might bring us to thanks and gratitude.

As an active part of the greater community, Devin has helped organize shows and community festivals for other DIY acts such as Young Jesus (Saddle Creek), Diners, Dog Party, Dogbreth, and Pregnant. He has taught guitar and music lessons since 2007, including a 6-year stint teaching rock and roll and helping children form bands in San Francisco's Tenderloin District for Up On Top. He has advised for the ClimateMusic Project,, and He sometimes likes to bike, bake bread, and tend to his plants.


Subscribe to our email newsletter

I enjoy sending occasional direct and thoughtful email updates to those who would like to stay connected.
I am grateful for your trust that I will treat your time and attention with respect.

Social media


Say hi: gentlereturn at gmail dot com