White Hinterland

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Kairos Review

by James Christopher Monger

The second full-length offering from White Hinterland (vocalist Casey Dienel and electro-wizard Shawn Creeden) positively oozes the kind of murky, open-world atmospherics of classic, early-'90s 4AD artists like the Cocteau Twins, Lisa Germano, and Dead Can Dance. Built primarily around Dienel’s omnipresent voice, a willowy, slightly off-key blend of Björk, Suzanne Vega, and the Delgados’ Emma Pollock, Kairos is simultaneously peaceful and unnerving; reveling in a wet summer night of choked, downtempo beats and looped “oohs” and “ahhhs.” From the ethereal opening notes of "Icarus" to the ethereal closing notes of "Magnolias," Dienel and Creeden have crafted a post-midnight breeze of a record that rarely steps outside of its dreamland template -- it’s a tactic that would derail other acts not up to the task of seeing the whole thing through. As languid as the whole affair is, it’s hardly sleepy, as Dienel can switch from pixie crooner (“Moon Jam”) to sweet soul sister (“Begin Again”) at the flip of a switch, resulting in a collection of bedroom songs that not only engage upon first listen, but beg to played throughout the rest of the house, as well.

blue highlight denotes track pick