Dehd - Blue Skies Music Album Reviews

Dehd - Blue Skies Music Album Reviews
The Chicago three-piece hasn’t changed a thing about its streamlined indie rock, evoking youthful abandon and the ache of distantly-recalled bliss.

Dehd made the perfect road-trip album for 2020, the year no one left their living rooms. Amid the general malaise, the 13 rock songs on Flower of Devotion hit like intravenously delivered exclamation points, the sound fragile but the spirit indomitable. Their vision of youthful abandon enticed precisely because of its implied distance; Jason Balla’s simple guitars, Eric McGrady’s even simpler drums, and Emily Kempf’s hairbrush-microphone shout arrived trailing echoes, already receding. The album still summons that initial rush whenever you play it, a small but meaningful salvo in the losing battle against anhedonia.

The trouble is, now they have to do it again. Narrow perfections like Dehd’s tend to blunt themselves on repetition, and it can take a peculiar kind of nerve to stay the course. But on Blue Skies, they made the best choice, which is the only choice: Change nothing. Not one thing. Thread together Flowers of Devotion and Blue Skies onto one playlist, hit shuffle, and boom: the ache of distantly-recalled bliss, now double the runtime.

Kempf remains their life force. Like Julian Casablancas or Sheer Mag’s Tina Halladay, Kempf’s voice is basically a series of rock-star poses transubstantiated into sound-wave form. Watching her live, you can nearly see all these poses—the raised-fist howl, the heartbroken bleat, the giddy yip—leap from her throat like a procession of CGI unicorns. Her voice is the single element that sparks these tinder-dry rock songs into fire. McGrady adds a few fills this time, but otherwise he still plays like someone testing a drum kit rather than playing one. Balla’s wispy guitar tone isn’t far removed from the one employed on the Shaggs’ “My Pal Foot Foot.” Their reserve feels disciplined: They know they are the night highway, so they let Kempf be the yellow stripes, her words strafing past in flashes of color and motion.

Road-trip rock albums are tallied and graded on their supply of fun, catchy lyrics to yell along to, and Blue Skies boasts a profusion. Every song features at least one exclamation point, and most feature more—“Empty in my mind!”; “Over kissing strangers, I want to kiss a friend!”; “Where we’re going I don’t know/Makes no difference anymore!” “This is all we get!” They don’t need to resort to singing “doo-doo-doo-bop”—as they do on a song called “Bop”—because their actual lyrics are catchier. On the single and standout “Bad Love,” Kempf howls, “I was a bad love/Now I can get some/I got a heart full of, I got a heart full of/Re-re-redemption.” What does it mean to be a bad love? Take it and run with it. Mouth the words to your reflective surface of choice and try out different angles: despairing, confessional, swaggering.

When either Balla or McGrady supply lead vocals, they sound like an entirely different band. “Hold,” sung by McGrady, could be the work of a Flying Nun tribute act, one with songs about allergies and Auden. On opener “Control,” Balla sounds a bit like Nathan from Wavves if he were doing a dodgy James Mason impression. These songs are pleasant, but the charisma gap separating the others from Kempf is Liam-Noel level, and they need each other. Kempf’s voice might grate on its own, a flawless karaoke performance that goes on just a bit too long. When they sing together, some chemical reaction occurs: Three simple and effective instruments alchemize into one perfect one. Trading the line “How come I’m always last to know/What I want!” on “Dream On,” they seem less like alternating vocalists than lights strobing through fog.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Dehd - Blue Skies Music Album Reviews Dehd - Blue Skies Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on June 07, 2022 Rating: 5


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