Dehd Set ‘Poetry’ in Motion on Lovestruck Lead Single “Mood Ring”

Chicago post-punks Dehd are back with a new single | Atiba Jefferson, courtesy of the artist

Surefire Chicago rock trio Dehd are back with their fifth album, Poetry, coming May 10 on Fat Possum Records, and they’ve released the starry-eyed single “Mood Ring” as a first preview of the record.

Dehd took songwriting on the road after the success of their acclaimed fourth full-length Blue Skies, leaving the Windy City in search of inspiration for the first time. The muses led them to bassist/vocalist Emily Kempf’s “off-grid Earthship” home in Taos, New Mexico, then a borrowed cabin on the Puget Sound. “Eating, sleeping, breathing, living—our only purpose was to write,” Kempf recalls of those days in a statement. Dehd recorded Poetry back home at Chicago’s Palisade Studios, with guitarist/vocalist Jason Balla co-producing with an outside collaborator, Whitney’s Ziyad Asrar, another first for the band.

In addition to those experiences, Poetry was inspired by Charles Bukowski’s “The Laughing Heart,” written shortly before the poet’s death of leukemia in 1994, which urges, “Your life is your life / Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission. / Be on the watch. / There are ways out.” Dehd seem to take that call to enjoyment to heart on “Mood Ring,” in which Kempf sings blithely about falling in love with a biker boy. It’s a fantasy, as her exaggerated, head-over-heels lyrics suggest—”Love is gonna save me / You better get back now, ‘cause here comes my baby!”—but it’s also a way out. Why shouldn’t she take it?

Kempf’s bright, staccato vocals and Balla’s reverb-drenched guitar riffs, underpinned by Eric McGrady’s punchy drums, create a beautiful facade, as if boiling life down to love alone. “I check my mood ring / Gimme that, gimme that sweet believing,” Kempf insists. “I got these feelings / I wanna shout out loud, loud, loud.” The concept of surrendering to “that sweet believing” is further reinforced by the track’s elaborate music video (dir. Glamhag), starring Alex Grelle as Vanity Unfair, who escapes mundanity by ordering, then drinking a “Mood Ring” perfume that opens a portal to a far more glamorous world.

Dehd have announced a North American headlining tour in support of Poetry, with general ticket on-sale starting tomorrow, Feb. 2, at 10 a.m. ET. You can get yours here and see their complete itinerary (along with their new album’s tracklist) down below. Poetry is available for preorder here.

1. Dog Days 

2. Hard To Love 

3. Mood Ring 

4. Necklace

5. Alien 

6. Light On 

7. Pure Gold 

8. Dist B 

9. So Good 

10. Don’t Look Down 

11. Knife 

12. Shake 

13. Magician 

14. Forget

Dehd Tour Dates:

2/29 – San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop Festival

3/3 – Seattle, WA @ Freakout Weekender

3/24 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Festival

4/28 – Austin, TX @ Austin Psych Festival

5/26 – Napa Valley, CA @ BottleRock Music Festival

6/1 – Northampton, MA @ Field Day Music Festival

10/17 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace

10/18 – Montreal, QC @ Les Foufounes Électriques

10/19 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

10/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry @ The Filmore

10/23 – Washington, DC @ The Howard Theatre

10/25 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West

10/26 – New Orleans, LA @ Chickie Wah Wahs

10/27 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall

10/31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

11/1 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco

11/5 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre

11/8 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

11/9 – Denver, CO @ The Oriental Theatre

11/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line 

11/12 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

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