Biscuits, Triscuits…

White Hinterland- Kairos
June 9, 2010, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

White Hinterland


Dead Oceans

This Portland duo released Kairos March 9th, and this overbooked writer only now got about to writing about it. That being said, it’s a pretty amazing album with dub and electronic elements coming far from left field melting into this warm lo-fi creation with sweet female vocals and dance-y guitar riffs. The album cover is a pretty great visual interpretation of White Hinterland’s sound; it’s a bit muddled and unclear, white-washed and faded but glimmering with sunspots that leak through the speakers as little gems of sound.

Each element of sound clicks into place slowly but assuredly. The areas where it all comes together make the slow drive even more worthwhile. “No Logic” bleats and dances crookedly, showcasing Casey Dienel’s curiously echoed vocals. Her voice is crystalline and mysterious, a little bit Feist and a little M.I.A. depending on how she is using it. It drops and drips with rhythm and gentility overtop blanketed electronics and bumbling drums beats provided by both Dienels and Shawn Creeden. There’s a tribal quality, a very organic and earthly sound that rises from the duo’s creation and is fortified through clicks, yelps, thumb pianos, low drumming and airy vocals.

Each song throughout the album provides a distinct feeling of being transported elsewhere. “Bow & Arrow” enters with bass-y, hollow drumming and enters into the chorus of horns and reggae style singing that bellows and creates the perfect mood. The vocals seem to be adaptable to any style, and the instrumentation continues to shake it up with each song.

Nothing is normal, nothing is boring. White Hinterland gives new life into styles that have been long dead or overdone. Each aspect that could be found trite elsewhere fits perfectly in with the sounds these two are exploring. I personally can’t wait to hear more. –