D.C. musician Jules Hale is known for masterfully blending dark, experimental vibes with catchy, melodic hooks under her project, Den-Mate. On Hale’s new EP, Entropii, her pop sensibilities shine bright throughout the entire record.
The record begins with “Vice,” where an eerie cascade of echoing vocals rise from the silence, invoking the opening melody of the EP. The strings are haunting and the beat is jittery, creating a sense of unease that is only soothed by Hale’s harmonies slicing through the mix.
On “Fall,” Hale’s indifference to the bubblegum chords and poppy beat mirrors the occasional guitar feedback burst. The track slowly evolves into a sublime concoction of bright and dark moods, with richly layered vocals carrying the listener away from unease. Hale described the song to NPR as “my ode to women; they deserve to swim in euphoria for a bit and escape the feeling of being unheard or not quite understood.”
The EP continues with “Sea” and “Iron.” Marked by a slow, pulsating bass paired with rigid drum-machine claps, Hale’s melodies and vocal layers create a sense of familiarity that make the industrial vibe surprisingly catchy.
With Entropii, Hale does a wonderful job of making a darker, more experimental collection of tracks accessible through skillful lyricism and vocal performance. The record is out now via Babe City Records, so make sure to listen and grab a copy.