Dehd, “Sunburn”

Post Author: JP Basileo

Sometimes artists gravitate towards each other and start their super collaborations because their backgrounds make sense and the potential for chemistry is, well, super. Other times, and this is somewhat rarer, the chemistry has always been there and the project is founded out of love, both for each other and their creative output. Such can be said for Chicago’s Dehd. Consisting of Jason Balla (of Earring), Emily Kempf and Eric McGrady, they released their S/T debut digitally through Fire Talk, who refers to them as “a family band in the key of love.” This makes sense when pondering their song “Sunburn,” a calmed and calming romantic hymn as charming as it is poignant. Arpeggiating guitar flutters in through the head and seeps down to the gut like post-nasal drip of a cooling high. Kempf’s anesthetically affectionate vocals coat the already serene hum of swaying rhythm in simplistic, beautifully-put phraseologies, and it’s so nice to meet you.

The video for the song, made by Kempf, alongside Dominic Rabalais and Emily Esperanza, depicts “twins” doing everything together in almost ritualistic fashion. Riding bikes, exercising, dominating and destroying a cake-man—all done in synchronized perfection, and ever mindful of their watches. It’s a perfectly fantastical visual pairing for a lovely song by a lovely band. Deadpan attitude overtakes the faces of the tiara-donning duo as they make it rain play money and walk off camera, the final lyrics echoing, “I’m having trouble in my mind.” It could all mean nothing, and everything.

Czech out a quick Q+A with the band!

Was the romance alive and well before the project started, or did playing music together lead to your relationship?

Jason & Emily were dating prior to the band’s conception, but we don’t fully associate love or romance in connection with this project. We’re just best friends making jams …though from time to time we can be a little romantic. <3

You’re in other projects, Jason in Earring, and Emily in Heavy Dreams and Vail? Are there things brought to the Dehd table from these other endeavors” and vice versa?

Not really, Dehd is a rock. Dehd is an iiiiiiiiiisland. we just all get to practice space and start playing all at once and a ton of songs blast out. It’s mostly fun and mostly in the spirit of friendship.

How is it playing together, creatively? Live? How is it playing and touring separately?

IT IS THE BEST WE ALL LOVE EACH OTHER SO MUCH! when we tour in our other projects we mark the calendar with a little sharpie waiting for the day when we can be back on Dehd tour.

Can you talk on the vid a bit? Where did it come from? Where was it shot? What was the inspiration behind such a brilliant waste of cake?

The video was shot entirely in the lovely town of Fairfield Iowa in less than 48 hours. The viddy team was made up of Emily Kempf and ultra geniuses Dom Rabalais and Emily Esperanza. They shot it with the concept of “twins”. The “twins” love sitting on cake, especially when it’s shaped like a man.