White Hinterland Premieres “Ring The Bell”

White Hinterland Premieres Video for "Ring The Bell". White Hinterland's "Baby" comes out 4/1 on Dead Oceans. White Hinterland plays 3/7 in Portsmouth, NH.

Freedom often begins from terror, and White Hinterland’s third album, Baby, addresses the fear that comes along with breaking out of established rituals, or leaving a comfortable place, and striking out into the unknown. Four years after her release,Kairos (2010), Casey Dienel aka White Hinterland has produced a deep, dark, heady mix of songs. After two and a half years of writing and recording material in Montreal and Portland, OR, Dienel moved back in to her family home in Scituate, MA. There she forged a new aesthetic, spending five months building her own studio, The Glades, in her parents’ basement – the same space where she practiced piano and vocal lessons as a child. Determined to helm her new album, Dienel spent months studying production, poring over YouTube tutorials about Protools, mic’ing techniques and other minutiae.

Armed with this self-taught skill and her new studio, Dienel set forth to subvert the existing power structure of male producer as svengali and female artist as figurehead (see: Billy Corgan/Courtney Love, Timbaland/Aaliyah, Phil Spector/The Ronettes). She created her own, new path on Baby, which showcases her as a singer/songwriter/producers. Calling in her friends as pinch hitters, Dienel worked with Sean Carey (Bon Iver, S. Carey), Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan), and Cole Kamen-Green (Beyoncé).

The themes explored on Baby are universal but it is Dienel’s singular reaction to what life has thrown in front of her. “I would say the themes of this record to me are personal agency, strength, growth, determination,” she posits. “And to get those things is usually fucking terrifying and comes with casualties and loss.” Call it Millennial Anxiety, if you like. “White Noise” erupts over alcoholism and abandonment while “Wait Until Dark” and “Sickle No Sword” are paeans to violence and breaches of security. On the unsparing “Dry Mind” mention is made of “No Plan B, no B.A., No Exit.” “Live With You” and “Baby” take aim at both the narrator and object of desire. “David” describes the dangerous lotus-eater effect of nostalgia, both a eulogy to the past and a celebration of life even at its most brutal. “No Devotion” asks the question of nature vs. nurture. Do we inherit these behaviors or are they learned over the time? And can we unlearn them?

Baby‘s production is marked by extremes, and it continually returns to the piano, Dienel’s first love. Where her earlier work occasionally showcased a strong Joni Mitchell influence, on new songs like “David” she finds herself in Fiona Apple territory. “Whatever you say, don’t say we we’re lucky. Whatever you do, don’t call it chance,” she croons with a mixture of regret and relief. “That’s like saying it was an accident when I was running at you with my sharpest knife.” Her lifelong love of R&B and gospel also comes to the fore, these resonant styles complement and contrast the sharp dynamic shifts, booming drums, and blasts of brass. Consider “Ring the Bell”: her confident vocals buoy the song as it grows larger and more forthright, winding itself up into a maelstrom that feels like the seasick experience of falling head over heels in love. On “Metronome”.

Baby | Tracklisting /

01. Wait Until Dark
02. Dry Mind
03. Ring the Bell
04. David
05. Baby
06. White Noise
07. Metronome
08. No Devotion
09. Sickle No Sword
10. Live With You

Upcoming Tour Dates

03.07.14 – The Press Room – Portsmouth, NH
04.01.14 – Brick & Mortar Music Hall (Woode Shoppe)  – San Francisco, CA
04.03.14 – Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA
04.05.14 – Opolis – Norman, OK *
04.06.14 – Three Links – Dallas, TX *
04.07.14 – Holy Mountain – Austin, TX *
04.09.14 – Circle Bar – New Orleans, LA *
04.10.14 – Bottletree – Birmingham, AL *
04.11.14 – Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA *
04.12.14 – King’s – Raleigh, NC *
04.13.14 – Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC *
04.14.14 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA *
04.16.14 – Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY *
04.17.14 – Great Scott – Boston, MA *
04.18.14 – Il Motore – Montreal, QC *
04.19.14 – The Garrison – Toronto, ON *
04.21.14 – Pike Room – Pontiac, MI *
04.22.14 – Calvin College – Grand Rapids, MI *
04.23.14 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL *
04.24.14 – Club Garibaldi – Milwaukee, WI *
04.25.14 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN *
04.26.14 – TBD – Eau Claire, WI *

* w/ S. Carey


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