Quoi de Neuf

Singer/pianist Casey Dienel's group White Hinterland turns back the clock and convincingly gives French pop its due.

Beautiful pianist, singer, and New England Conservatory drop-out Casey Dienel is only 23 and she's making better music than you or I probably ever will. She's also not trying to make a big deal about it. She recorded her first album on a lark in a farmhouse in Massachusetts, not even expecting anything to come of it--just to do it. The songs found their way to the head of Hush Records, who signed her immediately thereafter and released the songs as the album Wind-Up Canary in March 2006. Since then, Casey has formed a band called White Hinterland and released another album earlier this year called Pylactery Factory.

A new EP from Casey and company, called Luniculaire, is scheduled for release this October. It will feature five songs, two of which are originals and three covers. Here's the catch: It's all in French. The covers, it may interest some to know, will be songs originally recorded by such beaux esprits as Serge Gainsbourg, Brigitte Fontaine, and Francoise Hardy. The first song released from the forthcoming EP, Chant de Grillon, bears evident similarities, rather appropriately, to the work of these internationally acclaimed singers, though it's a good deal more psychedelic than yé-yé. Mais ça ne fait rien. C'est bien.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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