NE-HI

Dehd announce Water for 5/10 release

by Woody on March 5, 2019

Dehd are the Chicago trio of Jason Balla, Emily Kempf, and Eric McGrady; vets of our city’s DIY scene. I’d best describe their music as some sort of hazy surf-punk. Whatever it is, I dig this track and any band that shoots their video at The Hideout has a fan in me. Water will see the light of day via the fine folks at Fire Talk. They will be all over Austin during SXSW. Here’s some info from the PR squad.

That easy relatability was tested around the time they began working on Water in August 2017, when Balla and Kempf, who had been dating since the band’s inception, went through an agonizing breakup. “Realistically, when you have a breakup, you want to isolate yourself and cut yourself off from one another,” Balla says. Instead, Dehd went on tour. The time in the van did them good, forcing each of them to come to terms with the way they felt about one another — and about the band.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Dehd is on instagram

{ 0 comments }

I saw Jamila and NE-HI within a few hours of each other this past SXSW. Had been itching to see NE-HI since I’d been loving their latest, Offers. Jamila, well we just stumbled into her set and to man, were floored. So it’s not to see two Chicago artists getting together for a rework of a track off of NE-HI’s first album. All proceeds from the sale of the single will benefit SocialWorks, a Chicago-based arts empowerment charity co-founded by Chance The Rapper. Here’s some info from both.

“We spent some time this summer reimagining the arrangement and rhythmic approach to “The Times I’m Not There”, a song from our first record. The idea was to explore new melodies and textures to shape around the guitar hook and find a different voice to take the song somewhere else. Jamila Woods, being the amazing vocalist that she is, came on and completely led the song into a new life. After tampering around with the edit for a while, what started as an experiment turned out to be a memorable song and recording process. Shout out to Jamila Woods, Dave Vettraino on production, and Dee Lilly on the keys! This being a project between two Chicago artists, we wanted to give all the proceeds back to young people in the city through the arts empowerment charity, SocialWorks.”

Jamila Woods adds: “I had a great time working on the song with NE-HI, we had never worked together before but I really like their sound and it was fun to collaborate during the process. I think it’s dope that they chose to partner with SocialWorks for the release.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or at @HearYa

Jamila is here

NE-HI is here

{ 0 comments }

NE-HI – Offers (album review)

by Woody on February 24, 2017

NEHI_creditBryanAllenLamb1

NE-HI have made themselves a great sophomore effort. Their self-titled debut LP was rough around the edges, ragged and full of promise. It held your attention fine but you were hoping for more. Well, Offers is more. They’ve sanded the edges while retaining the attitude. The production is tighter, without sounding over-produced; mixing in styles such as garage, 80s new wave and the jangly guitars easily associated with New Zealand’s Flying Nun roster. And the songwriting is much improved.

Offers sees the Chicago quartet blending the wave guitar riffs with a garage rock ethos. You mix in the dueling lead vocals of Jason Balla and Mikey Wells, with the outstanding rhythm section by James Weir (bass) and Alex Otake (drums)and you have yourself a 37 minute blast of rock n roll goodness.

While sounding nothing like DBT, the dynamic between Balls and Wells songwriting reminds me of how Cooley and Patterson’s songs plays off each other on an album. Balla’s songs tend to give the music a little more space to move. These songs, including the opener Palm Of Hand & Drag are what really drew me to Weir’s playing. These are the tunes that you just put your head down and let the music cascade over you. Wells’ tunes tend to a short story. They’re not detailed stories that Patterson delivers but they tend to capture a moment in time. Sisters and Buried On The Moon are the two strongest that he delivers.

NE-HI has taken a massive leap forward. And there’s no reason to think that they can’t keep this train moving forward. They’re going to be down at SXSW and for my Chicagoland faithful, they’ll be at The Bottle tomorrow night.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

NE-Hi is here

{ 1 comment }

NEHI_creditBryanAllenLamb1

Photo by Bryan Allen Lamb

Chicago’s NE-HI are set to release their sophomore effort, Offers via the fine folks at Grand Jury. Following up on their s/t debut the band is pushing forward with their anthemic blend of post-punk and garage rock. Here’s a little something on the new album.

Offers drones, it captivates with soaring pop, it shimmers with atmosphere, always changing, looking. It finds the distant influence of forebears in cerebral guitar pop presented with a familiarity that typifies great FM rock hits. The Midwestern boys (two from Chicago, one from Wisconsin, and one from Minnesota) in NE-HI have a knack for knitting something comfortable and warm from those art school cast-offs and cult favorites. NE-HI’s music demands to be lived in.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

NE-HI is here

{ 0 comments }