White Hinterland - Luniculaire

by Matthew Fiander

18 November 2008

 

Casey Deinel just won’t sit still. After releasing just one album under her own name, she ditched the solo career in favor of starting White Hinterland. And the first full-band release marked a much more lush and intricate sound for her, wrapping her pristine melodies in jazzy warmth. And now with a new White Hinterland EP, Luniculaire, Deinel has given up on the English language.

Okay, probably not forever. But this EP is sung entirely in French, and features covers of French singers like Serge Gainsbourg, though she amazingly penned some of these songs herself in her second language. But language is not the only departure on this EP. From first to last, these songs are a good deal more experimental than the first White Hinterland record. The clanking and groaning of guitars shape the awkwardly chunky “Requiem Pour Un Con”. “Mon Ami La Rose” shows Deinel as a sultry torch singer, but pits her aching vocals against the squeaking notes of a stubbornly off-kilter violin. “Lunirascible” sounds the closest to what we’ve heard from Deinel before, with the inclusion of big horns still working as a nice departure.

cover art

White Hinterland

Luniculaire

(Dead Oceans)
US: 21 Oct 2008
UK: Available as import

But its telling that “Lunirascible” is the song that works the best. The entire EP is charming and interesting as it tests the waters of new sounds. But it also avoids Deinel’s natural knack for catchy melodies and her usually loose song structures become a little too loose here. They don’t fall apart, but they come close. So while White Hinterland stumbles on some good new sounds with Luniculaire, they do well to mesh them with some of their old ones.

Luniculaire

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Call for Essays on Topics in Culture; Present, Past and the Speculative Future

// Announcements

"PopMatters (est. 1999) is a respected source for smart long-form reading on a wide range of topics in culture. PopMatters serves as…

READ the article