I’ve been following Casey Dienel’s career since she first started making music under her own name back in 2006. Her debut Wind-Up Canary caught the ears of a lot of people, probably because she was lumped in with a couple other “quirky pop” piano-bound prodigies at the time, most notably Regina Spektor and Nellie McKay. In the 8 years since then, Dienel has certainly pivoted in a direction that separates her from that collective. It started in 2008 when she signed to Dead Oceans and adopted the stage name of White Hinterland. She assembled a backing band and began to move in some interesting and more experimental directions with her sound. Not everything worked, and though she’s gone through some rough patches, she’s remained resilient and continues to persevere these days. Her most recent record Baby came out this spring, and may be her most ambitious to date. Never content to do the same thing over and over again, Dienel has decided that the dream pop elements on 2010’s Kairos should be replaced with orchestral flourishes, horns and off-kilter percussion instead. It’s a bold and interesting move from a consistently bold and interesting singer-songwriter. A single like “Ring the Bell” provides a good entry point into the headspace of the record in general, which can often feel like a cross between Bjork, Zola Jesus and tUnE-yArDs, particularly with the vocals. Actually like tUnE-yArDs, White Hinterland has also attracted a fair amount of attention for using looping to construct most of her songs in a live setting. If you’ve never seen that done before from someone like Andrew Bird, Owen Pallett or the aforementioned tUnE-yArDs, then you’re missing out on something truly special and incredible. The whole process of building a song with various looped pieces and harmonizing with yourself is immensely gripping to watch and even more incredible when it’s done successfully. What I’m trying to say is, if you have the chance to see White Hinterland perform live, you should. It just so happens that she will be playing a show in Chicago this upcoming Monday, June 23rd at the Empty Bottle, and I’d like to encourage you to join me if you’ll be in town. It’s Do312’s 4th Birthday Bash, and as a result it’s 100% free to attend provided you RSVP beforehand. Of course admittance is also based on capacity, so if the place is full you might not get in. But show up right at 9 PM for sets from Touched By Ghoul and Benjamin Booker, and I believe there will also be free alcoholic beverages as well. The whole thing is going to be tons of fun, with a hopefully mindblowing set from White Hinterland to cap it all off. So I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the show, and honestly it’s going to be a great way to close out your Monday night. Now then, let’s get to the mid-week edition of Pick Your Poison. Good tracks today coming from Buddy, EVVY, Islands, Music Go Music, Oknai and Scotty ATL. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new songs from Cloud Boat (covering The Smiths), Ganglion Reef, Herbert, Julia Holter (covering Dionne Warwick), White Fence and Wildcat! Wildcat!
Speakman Sound – Survive This Dream
Cloud Boat – Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (The Smiths cover)
Ganglion Reef – Flying Golem
Herbert – One Two Three
Julia Holter – Don’t Make Me Over (Dionne Warwick cover)
White Fence – Like That
Wildcat! Wildcat! – Hero