Blue Skies

Curated tracks: Dehd – a headful of angst and agile melody
By Alex James Taylor | Music | 23 September 2022
This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

Dehd don’t make albums, they make emotional rushes. The sort of surging sensations that force your body to jolt, shiver and shatter. Consisting of Emily Kempf [vocals], Jason Balla [guitar] and Eric McGrady [drums], the Chicago trio combine with a sound as angsty as it is soothing: you can totally imagine a Sofia Coppola protagonist escaping their humdrum life with Dehd fizzing out the car stereo; as much as two lovers drowning in lust to the band’s ethereal riffs. Dehd are one of those special bands that could soundtrack every aspect of your life – and they should.

The release of Dehd’s latest record Blue Skies earlier this year only emphasised their gravitas. Dreamy, compelling, bittersweet, longful – the emotional spectrum continues to whirl to the sound of pulsing drums, shimmering melodies and Kempf’s anthemic growl. With songs as majestic as these, we were keen to discover what was spinning on the band’s own mixtape – guitarist Jason Balla kindly answered our call.

The Dress by Dijon
“This song is so crazy. I was on a road trip recently and my friend and I played it back to back three times. Then we just did the whole album twice through after that. Dijon rules.”

Red Water by Earl Sweatshirt
“I love the way this song just repeats and repeats. Like when you have to keep telling yourself the same thing over and over again to make it real.”

Fever by Aldous Harding
“There’s so much groove here and I love the lyrics. The image in the chorus – “I still stare at you in the dark/Looking for that thrill in the nothing” – just comes alive to me every time.”

Scrambled Tricks by Wu-Lu
“We just played a festival with Wu-Lu and they went totally psycho on this song. The drums on this recording are everything.”

XO by Divino Niño
“This song is all swing and sex. So excited about the new music they’ve been putting out.”

Sweet Sunshine by Beck
“I only recently started listening to Beck and the songs are p. crazy.”

Change by Big Thief
“This song makes me feel suspended in time itself. It’s so simple and sure. I could just float through this one for a while.”

Meta Angel by FKA Twigs
“The recording of friends talking at the beginning of this song turns me up so hard. Also not to be that guy, but when the bass drops!”

New Place by Tasha
“This song is steady serenity.”

Descending (feat. Brian Green) by Sam Wilkes
“Sam Wilkes invented a teleportation machine to heaven on this one.”

Dehd, Blue Skies, is out now via Fat Possum.


Read Next