Jules Hale of Den-Mate sings at Songbyrd Music House on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016.
Jules Hale seems to sing of a sort of spiritual liberation in her song “For Free” by Den-Mate. Delivering a hazy vocal over a steady beat, she weathers emotional attacks as if they were physical missiles in the song with a metaphorical shrug.
In concert on Wednesday at Songbyrd Music House, Jules opened for Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds, delivering seven mesmerizing songs in a deliberate state of dreampop. (Read our Parklife DC review of Laura Burhenn’s concert.) Affixed to the center of stage, Jules played a keyboard while beating a drum and singing, an impressive display of efficiency that may have discouraged some impulses to dance during the show (as she has expressively done in the past).
Jules Hale of Den-Mate (Photo courtesy Babe City Records)
Young musicians Mourn from Spain were set to play DC9 last summer but their opening act dropped off the bill.
DC9 put out the call for any band ready to fill the spot that day, and Den-Mate, the local dreampop quartet fronted by Jules Hale, jumped into the mix. The band impressed in their no-notice performance (on July 13, 2015)! Jules sings with a bluesy sometimes otherworldly voice, and she has a ton of energy, which she works off by jumping around during a show. The band bring an occasionally bright/occasionally foreboding vibe to rich lyrics.
Watch Den-Mate perform “DC Junkie” live at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Luce Foundation Center on Nov. 5, 2015:
Den-Mate released a self-titled demo album in 2013, and Babe City Records is publishing a remixed version of that album this week. To mark the occasion, Den-Mate are playing an album release show on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Black Cat.
You can listen to the demo version of that first album on Soundcloud (below) or better yet purchase the new version of the album from Babe City online.
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DC punk trio Witch Coast and Baltimore experimental pop musician Sitcom (aka Jake Lazovick) open for Den-Mate. Tickets are available online.
w/ Sitcom and Witch Coast
Thursday, Feb. 25