Review: White Hinterland - Kairos

White Hinterland
Kairos - [2010; Dead Oceans]

Under the moniker White Hinterland, Casey Dienel has been making music that is just a little off for a few years now; her myspace page appropriately reads "keep it surreal." Her excellent-but-patchy 2008 release, The Phylactery Factory, fused intricate orchestrations with a jazzy back beat or piano and occasionally shy occasionally boisterous vocal delivery. Despite being at the center of this strange set of combinations, nothing really stood out for the majority of the album. Not so on her 2010 followup, Kairos. The opening track, "Icarus" (see below), immediately demands your attention with a brief other worldly vocal loop, giving to a strong beat and immediate vocal line. While not every song on the album is like this one, it definitely sets a new tone. Something that does carry through the album, though, is a distinctly R&B influence in Deinel's vocal melodies. The second track musically recalls Bat For Lashes' Two Suns but Deinel makes it her own with a superb, winding vocal exploration that keeps the song entertaining throughout. She is at her best, however, in the third track entitled "No Logic" which utilizes Dirty Projectors-esque vocals and guitar stabs but separates them with ambient vocal tracks that remind me more of the vocal loop in Panda Bear's "Im Not." Speaking of Dirty Projectors brand R&B, "Bow and Arrow" sounds like it could fit straight into Bitte Orca and probably warrants a Solange cover in its own right. All in all, Deinel it seems has come into her own vocally. Adding to this strong orchestration and dynamic composition leaves White Hinterland with a fantastic third album. Definitely recommend! (oh yeah, and check out the Justin Timberlake cover below).

Pre-order Kairos here. Its out March 3rd.

White Hinterland - "Icarus" - Kairos
White Hinterland - "No Logic" - Kairos


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