Den-Mate is the musical output of Washington D.C. based singer/songwriter/producer Jules Hale. Her musical prowess is incredibly powerful in its ability to transport you to into her sonic realm. She uses carefully selected electronic sounds, distorted and/or delayed vocals, ambient guitars, and negative space to create dreamy melodic loops that lodge themselves deep into your subconscious.
Although, her sound is somewhat abstract, it still has roots in traditional structure and organic elements. The end result of her sonic experimentation becomes a truly original venture into an electronic space that feels authentic and natural.
Particularly with her song “Safe” featuring an opening guitar riff that drops into a droning tone that makes you feel anything but safe. There is a natural cinematic “looming danger” quality that opens up when she lays her vocals on top of the heavy, dark music bed.
As for contemporary artists that would be similar to Den-Mate, the most current and commercially viable comparison would be to Phantogram. Simply for the similarity in the electronic elements featuring a female vocal. However, it’s doubtful they would be nearly as bold as Jules. A better comparison might be to Portishead. Especially on the track “Zombie” which has a lot of similar elements to the 1994 Portishead song “Sour Times”. Which, in all fairness was way ahead of it’s time. Jules does a wonderful job of being reminiscent but not annoyingly nostalgic.
Two other highlights on the Den-Mate self titled release are “For Free” and “Candy”. The former is hypnotic and dreamy yet has a lyrical punch that would leave financial analysts bloodied and bashed. While “Candy” is a boom-y bass drum/clap anthem with a vocal and squealing feedback hook that is just plain bad ass.
To say that Evensound is excited for Den-Mate’s signing with Chimes Records is an understatement. We’re eagerly awaiting Den-Mate’s first official full length release as well as live shows with a full backing band. Which, she elaborates for us in this quick Q&A we had with her recently.
Congrats on signing up with Chimes Records! They seem to be extremely excited to have you on their roster. You are the very definition of an independent Artist, is it nice to have more people in your corner ?
Thanks! It is very nice, I’m so excited to be a part of the Chimes Family. Everyone is so wonderful and I feel really grateful to have been taken under their wing. Its kind of difficult being a female solo artist (especially with the kind of music I do) so when they reached out it all felt very natural.
How did you start your solo endeavor, were you in bands before? What is your musical history?
I used to jam with friends but nothing serious ever came out of it. When I decided I wanted to make music on my own, I gravitated towards an electronic feel so I’d be able to create and control a full sound as to just singing with a guitar. I do play drums and other instruments but didn’t have proper recording tools.
We’ve read the comparisons to Karen O and other dreamy landscaped female vocalists, but you certainly have shaped your own unique and specific sound. What influences would you say shaped your creative output?
I get so giddy when people compare me to KO, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are my favorite band. I’d personally say bands like The Cure, The Kills, Warpaint, Beck, Bauhaus, Nirvana. A lot of Nirvana and Beck. I think influence can also be visual concepts. Water, color, the trees.
Have you produced you music entirely on your own, or have you worked with other producers ?
Everything I create for Den-Mate I produce on my own. I prefer having full creative control.
What is the status of any current projects you’re working on and your plans with now having the support of Chimes Records? Full length release? Tour?
Right now, I’m focusing on finishing a full length album that I will be releasing with Chimes and preparing for upcoming shows with the guys. I’m playing my first show with a full band on March 7th at Rock n’ Roll Hotel in DC. I’m opening up for Young Rapids record release and its going to be an amazing night! Den-Mate with a full band is on a complete new level.