White Hinterland – “Baby” (Stereogum Premiere)
Casey Dienel aka White Hinterland’s new album Baby is poised to display her transformation from a more introverted singer performing over drones and glitchy beats to her own best producer soaring over bombastic experimental R&B. Lead single “Ring The Bell” already showed this, but the album’s title track goes further. Dienel’s voice and beats here are tougher than before while her experimentation during the recording of the album shines through with dissonant, angular distortion cutting through smooth bass lines. The recurring mantra of “is this my weakness,” flows with the music so well that it almost sounds like a boast. Listen and read Dienel’s comment on the song below.
The album title came before the song a couple years back. My girlfriends started calling it The Baby because I was spending so much time on it. Someone close to me asked what I planned to call it, so half-jokingly I said “You Big Fucking Baby.” He said “There’s your title right there” and the name stuck. Sometimes having a name helps manifest things. I like that it can be tender and derisive depending how you wield it.
“Baby” was the last song I wrote for the record, and as a result maybe the most effortless. It’s a gut-first song, there was no second guessing. Just plug in and go. It showed up late one night almost full formed, and I laid down all the parts myself in a few all-nighter sessions. I was totally zoning, wrote the lyrics while tracking. Once I wrapped it up I took it down to New York for mixing with Matt LeMay. All of a sudden I looked down at what I’d done and realized I had an album. We were mastering by October.
Baby is out 4/1 via Dead Oceans.