katie dey



by owl beanie STAFF
June 30th, 2019 | 15 replies

Release Date: 05/31/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: walking around in perfect circles

It takes a special kind of self-indulgence (not the narcissistic kind, mind you, but the kind that’s lived in -- the kind that's blossomed from a complete comfort in the self) to make an album consisting entirely of just patterns; to recognise that the only universality is in ambiguity and abstraction. To Dey (todey), the pursuit of specificity, invariably, only provides comfort for those who have lived a similar version of history, and so she sings over indistinct, synthetic shapes that shift according to the environments they find themselves in. The only truly universal thing, this record seems to say, is the idea that no one lives in absolute certainty, that true peace can only be attained by blocking out the external. We are bound together by an impossible distance.

Solipsisters: companions, connected by the mutual understanding of one another’s preference to block out the shared world in favour of their own.

To interpret what we see only as that of our own making, is to be aware of the total malleability of things. Dey is concerned with how things bleed into each other, how – when we question the objectivity of materials – they start to swirl into a constantly morphing, oscillating reflection of capital-l Life. And that’s what this record is, perhaps: the faded boundary between Dey’s ‘objective’ experience and the form it takes the moment she is made to interpret it. Solipsisters hopscotches between stark moments of lucidity and surreal landscapes until it becomes an amorphous entity: the juxtaposition of Waves (which doesn’t feel like a ‘song’, but rather plays out like the ephemeral glimmering of sun spots dancing across just-opened eyes), and Sieve (which approaches traditional folk/rock before balking at the sight of normalcy) serves to represent this barely-there demarcation. In a similar vein, Uniforming fittingly amps up the theatricality, trudging forward along a line of steadfast quaver-note strings and puncturing snare hits that reach for some far-off crescendo that never gets any closer. It’s one of those times where Dey creates a facsimile of a shared existence -- one which makes us feel a sense of togetherness. On a record of Rorschach ink blots like Escaping and Dissolving, it’s important these sequences exist, to remind us that every version of existence is as valid and substantial as the last.

It’s all too easy to feel alienated and alone in the belief that nothing is real except what we think and feel and conjure, but in Solipsisters, Dey concludes that with this philosophical theory of isolation comes the warmth of imagined spaces, and the decision to pass in and out of adjacent worlds at leisure, and the freedom to manipulate ambiguity to one’s own end. If nothing’s certain, everything can be perceived as a common ground.

So, that voice -- girlish and wistful, manipulated to sound like it’s caught in a bubble, is what welcomes us onto a plane where the corporeal is eschewed; it's delicate timbre reflects how, here, people are just ideas -- outlines happy to both exist and coexist. Pulsing through this record is Dey’s acceptance of her (and everyone else’s) place as a mystical and impossible thing (“I’m a reflection, bouncing off other reflections, again and again…”), and that’s where this music comes from. Solipsisters is an acceptance of self that leads to an absolute harmony with all things ensnared by the senses, imagined or otherwise.

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user ratings (20)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 30th 2019


word salad

June 30th 2019


glad this got reviewed! katie makes tha best sounds

Digging: Ging Nang Boyz - ??????????

Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2019


Album Rating: 3.6

*extremely wiggles voice* word salad, yummy yummy

June 30th 2019


dey mysterio

June 30th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

Been meaning to review this bless

Digging: Palm Reader - Sleepless

June 30th 2019


your writing is so over the top and peculiar. "not the narcissistic kind, mind you, but the kind that’s lived in" the narcissistic kind couldn't be lived in too? why? "so she sings over indistinct, synthetic shapes that shift according to the environments they find themselves in" is there a visual aid that comes with this? otherwise wtf? "To interpret what we see only as that of our own making, is to be aware of the total malleability of things." some of these lines (like this one) remind me of the old shadows reviews lol.

idk man. lots of pseudo philosophical musings. just not my cup of tea. i personally find this kind of writing incredibly tedious and nondescript. kind of says everything and nothing at all. vague, ponderous lines that appear thought provoking but just end up more head-scratching.

June 30th 2019


at least he has something more interesting to say about an album than "AI! wow!"

Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2019


very cool review for a very cool album

June 30th 2019


Album Rating: 3.0

i like this review. well done

and probably need to listen to this one again. i miss those tortured vocal distortions from her older work.

July 1st 2019


Verdants best reviews are the monologue-y ones

July 2nd 2019


I do agree this review said everything and nothing at once. But it intrigues me enough to wonder if my own aural experience would be parallel to and deepen the intrinsic value of the review.

Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2019


“it's delicate timbre ”
its *
>: D
br; dr (bad review; didn’t read) ((this is my new thing))

Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2019


ok I now did read

review gives the impression that the album consists mostly of production manipulation/tricks rather than strong songwriting but I’ll listen to some of it anywho

July 12th 2019


holy fuck just got around to listening to this and cant believe theres a rework of "stuck" on here. crazy blast from the past

Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2019


just to offer a couple of extremely worn pennies into the mix: there's a sort of fetishisation around "sensitive" artists, as though they're more emotionally acute or whatever, and maybe they are, but that sensitivity in life and art frequently has a concomitant narcissism or, yes, solipsism, and therein lies something fraught and well worth discussing. they know their own feelings well, sure, but at who's expense? Bon Iver's "For Emma" would be the obvious example. A romantised, brilliant album that's actually quite nasty towards his ex-partner but he gets away with it because of the high calibre of the music. but where do we draw the line, and when does "sensitivity" become cruelty? anyway i think that's more specifically what this particular album is getting at. i don't think it navigates it well, but i'm glad a certain style of auteur is being deconstructed.

Digging: No Trend - When Death Won't Solve Your Problem

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