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MP3: Casey Dienel goes Gaga on White Hinterland's new Kairos

New England Conservatory-trained indie chanteuse CASEY DIENEL -- operating once again under her WHITE HINTERLAND moniker -- has unveiled the first glimpse of her next album Kairos, due out March 9 on Dead Oceans. Dienel has already covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time -- her early demos suggested a Girl Scout version of the Dresden Dolls, but subsequent records found her mounting increasingly intricate assaults on ghost folk, chamber rock, and indie jazz. The results, for our tastes, were often more impressive than they were emotionally satisfying. But on Kairos, we're told, she's ditched the Charlie Brown jazz chords -- not to mention her piano, altogether -- and embraced R&B vocals, electronic beats, and loops. Casey? Meet pop music. 

A cynic would call it her big Stillness-Is-The move. Then again, this isn't the first time an enigmatic Boston indie songstress has moved to Portland, Oregon and been converted to laptop-pop: the same thing happened to Cubby Berk on the last LOVERS record. Must be something in the hummus out there. In the end, the thing that we're seriously digging about "Icarus," the buzztrack from Kairos, is that it brings Dienel's haunting voice to the fore -- and strips away a lot of the fancy chords without sacrificing the depth of feeling and mystery she's always brought to her songwriting.

No word yet on when Dienel will make it back to the Bean. White Hinterland's only confirmed date is later this month in Oregon, with Dienel's old Boston pals TIGER SAW. 

DOWNLOAD: White Hinterland, "Icarus" [mp3]

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