When we last heard from Casey Dienel’s White Hinterland project, she was exploring experimental R&B on her 2014 album Baby. Now, after parting ways with Dead Oceans, she’s back with a new single called “Chill And Natural,” the first release on her new label Ursula. It’s a surging, aggressive dance-pop track that strikes me sonically as what Katy Perry’s next record might sound like if she signed to DFA. Thematically it tackles the impossible expectations men put on women. Dienel explains:
There are ways to be a woman, and the world has taught us how. Be chill, be exciting. Be natural, be beautiful. Wear less, cover up. Be cool, be approachable. Don’t stop, don’t start. Speak up, not too loud. Shave down there, not too much, not that little, a little more, too much. Be real, don’t be a bitch. In provincial New England, recalling e.e. cummings’ words about the landscape’s proper beauty and wild core, the chorus of White Hinterland’s new single “Chill and Natural” tells of those Good Girls trimming their gardens in the “pretty how towns” for the boys who can’t handle a wild landscape.
“Chill And Natural” is out tomorrow, 10/2, on Ursula.