On their debut full-length, Water, local indie trio Dehd rise above the haze with majestic pop | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

On their debut full-length, Water, local indie trio Dehd rise above the haze with majestic pop 

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Alexa Viscius

Chicago trio Dehd are a meeting of the minds between two singer-songwriters: bassist and singer Emily Kempf, who performs as Vail and has been in Lala Lala, and guitarist and singer Jason Balla, who fronts Ne-Hi and Earring. (Eric McGrady plays stand-up drums.) Their most recent slab of wax, an LP that smashes two previously released tapes together on one disc, is hazy, confessional postpunk with a dreamy throb and beautiful vocal interplay. Tonight, Dehd celebrate the release of their first proper full-length, Water (Fire Talk), where they step out from the fog of that earlier material. On this excellent collection of bare-bones new-wave punk, plunky guitar and groovy bass sit at the forefront, while the songs reveal more sophisticated melodic sensibilities and vocal arrangements. And though Dehd retain their downed-out Velvets energy, they push forward more than ever before—with Water, they prove themselves a world-class indie band, and it’s a real treat to hear them mature and reach new heights.   v

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