Dehd: Poetry (Fat Possum) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, May 26th, 2024  



Fat Possum

May 15, 2024 Issue #72 - The ‘90s Issue with The Cardigans and Thurston Moore Bookmark and Share

Dehd’s excellent and playlist-worthy single “Bad Love” (from their 2022 album, Blue Skies) had a surf-punk vibe, but the band’s new album, Poetry, largely eliminates the punk in favor of the more relaxed breezy twang of surf. While the original compositions are built with pop sensibilities in mind, most are a familiar and comfortable blend of retro styles and hazy dream pop, similar to contemporaries Beach Fossils, The Drums, Surfer Blood, etc. Occasionally seeking the adventurous, most tracks are pleasingly uncluttered, well-produced indie pop consisting of light and airy melodies and breezy guitar strums.

The exceptions are the album’s lead single “Mood Ring,” as well as “Light On” and “Shake.” All three show off some keen songwriting as they shape the music in new and catchy ways with a hint of bitterness that infuses the tracks with some edge. “Mood Ring” starts with a startling and pounding combo of drum and bass before shifting to a memorable hooky melody while a bouncy enthusiasm drives the surging guitar riffs on “Light On.” “Shake” captures lightning in a bottle with a more complex sound that is decidedly more bitter than sweet, with some distorted guitar counter-rhythms.

Unfortunately, the remaining 11 tracks are somewhat of a mixed bag as Dehd seem content to stay in their lane, too afraid to muck up the bright, radio-friendly beats. Most hooks are dulled by simple and gentle melodies without much variation, so not much sharpness remains. The saving grace being the too-seldom-used, and slightly slinky and radiant coo, of singer Emily Kempf.

Although well executed and tasteful, Poetry is hard to go back to time and again because there’s not a whole lot of substance or edginess. Without the innovation and smart pop style heard on previous releases, Poetry ends up being more pleasurable than satisfying. (

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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