|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, pianist, composer|
|Labels||Dead Oceans, Hush Records|
|Associated acts||White Hinterland|
Casey Dienel (born March 10, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She released her debut album, Wind-Up Canary, in 2006 on Hush Records. Dienel presently performs and records as White Hinterland, whose first album, titled Phylactery Factory, was released on March 4, 2008, by the independent record label Dead Oceans.
Casey Dienel spent the bulk of her youth in Scituate, Massachusetts. She took her first piano lessons at age 4, and at age 14 began writing her own pop songs. While attending Scituate High School, Dienel formed a short-lived band named The Bong Loads.
After high school, Dienel moved to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music, having turned down an offer of acceptance from Sarah Lawrence College. After one semester of studying classical vocals, she opted to switch her major to classical composition. During her two years at the conservatory, Dienel studied with many notable musicians, including jazz vocalist Dominique Eade and composer Lee Hyla, before taking an indefinite leave of absence to pursue her own music career.
While living in Boston during her Conservatory years, Dienel met Dylan Metrano of the band Tiger Saw, and was an occasional member of the band's rotating lineup. She currently lives in Portland, OR.
During the winter of 2005, Dienel was offered the chance to record for free at an abandoned caretaker's house on a farm in Leominster, Massachusetts. With some Conservatory friends and a piano borrowed from the lobby of a local hotel, she recorded a number of her own songs without any intention of releasing them. Without Dienel's knowledge, a copy of these recordings made its way to Chad Crouch, the head of Hush Records, who contacted her about releasing an album. Dienel agreed and Hush released the recordings as Wind-Up Canary in March 2006.
On November 29, 2006, Casey Dienel announced that she was working with producer Djim Reynolds on recording an EP titled Vessels, and that she hoped to release it in early 2007. Dienel had this to say about the project:
I've had my head shoved in the books for several weeks now, attempting to finish a little EP for your ears that I'm calling Vessels. I can't talk too much about it, for you know how fickle I am when it comes to these things, but hopefully in the new year it will find its way to your hands with ribbons and brass, etc. I can tell you that some sounds are sprawling and some are still quite intimate, and it features a few of my favorite friends with me.
To date, Vessels remains unreleased—however, there are live recordings and lyrics for the song online.
On January 4, 2008, after a few months hinting at "change," Dienel announced in her blog that "for the present and foreseeable future, there won’t be any more Casey Dienel." Her blog post coincided with Dead Oceans' announcement of the forthcoming release of White Hinterland's album Phylactery Factory:
2008 is here, and with the new year comes the influx of new albums. Dead Oceans is thrilled to partake in this ritual, and we are enthused to officially welcome White Hinterland to our label family. Led by the talented Casey Dienel, White Hinterland have crafted the mysterious Phylactery Factory, which will arrive in record stores worldwide on March 4, 2008.
In 2010, White Hinterland (consisting of the duo Dienel and artist/musician/collaborator Shawn Creeden) toured the US and Europe with their album Kairos. A song from this album, "Icarus", was selected by Revlon to be used in their 2010 commercial for Just Bitten Lip Stain, starring Jessica Biel and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Later the same year, "Icarus" was featured in an episode of the ABC Family drama "Pretty Little Liars," as well the fashion show of the winner of the Project Runway (Season 8) finale, Gretchen Jones. The song was also used in the 2010 film It's Kind of a Funny Story.
As Casey Dienel:
As White Hinterland:
- 2008 Phylactery Factory (Dead Oceans)
- 2008 Luniculaire EP (Dead Oceans)
- 2010 Kairos (Dead Oceans)
- 2014 Baby
- Casey Dienel: Shining A Floodlight On The Humanness Of Strippers And At Least One Ladies Man
- "White Hinterland Monday, June 1". Willamette Week.
- Hush Records: Casey Dienel - "Wind-Up Canary"
- "Musings - my book report.". Casey Dienel. 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
- Musings: Bleating Hearts
- Musings: Ends in the Beginnings.
- DeadOceans.com, 01/05/08