Casey Dienel

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Casey Dienel
Background information
Born (1985-03-10) March 10, 1985 (age 39)
OriginScituate, Massachusetts
GenresIndie pop
Dream pop
Art pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, composer
Years active1999–present
LabelsDead Oceans, Hush Records

Casey Dienel (born March 10, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She released her debut album, Wind-Up Canary, in 2006 on Hush Records. Dienel has also performed and recorded as White Hinterland, whose first album, titled Phylactery Factory, was released on March 4, 2008, by the independent record label Dead Oceans. Dienel plays piano, keyboards and ukulele.

Early life and education[edit]

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.[1] 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. Dienel studied with many notable musicians at the conservatory, including jazz vocalist Dominique Eade and composer Lee Hyla. 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.

After two years at the conservatory, Dienel took an indefinite leave of absence to pursue her own music career.

Early solo work[edit]

Wind-Up Canary[edit]

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.[2] With some conservatory friends and a piano borrowed from the lobby of a local hotel,[2] 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.[3] Dienel agreed and Hush released the recordings as Wind-Up Canary in March 2006 to widely favorable reviews.[4][5][6]


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.[7]

To date, Vessels remains unreleased—however, there are live recordings and lyrics for the song available on the Internet.

White Hinterland[edit]

Phylactery Factory[edit]

On January 4, 2008, after a few months hinting at "change,"[8] Dienel announced in her blog that "for the present and foreseeable future, there won’t be any more Casey Dienel."[9] 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.[10]


In 2009, White Hinterland released an EP called Luniculaire.[11]


On March 9, 2010, White Hinterland released its second full-length album, Kairos, via Dead Oceans.[12][13] Pitchfork rated the album 7.5 on its 10-point scale,[14] with reviewer Patrick Sisson writing that Dienel "swoons on 'Cataract' and 'Magnolias', two of the gorgeous tracks in which her sweet tone and confident phrasing, along with unfurled guitar melodies, recall Bitte Orca," the acclaimed 2009 album from the Dirty Projectors. Reviewing "Icarus", the first single off of Kairos, Brandon Stusoy noted the songs "hushed experimental threads" and said compared to previous work, Icarus "pushes things deeper and then recasts it in a denser electro realm."[15]

White Hinterland released videos for Kairos songs "Amsterdam,"[16] "Begin Again,"[17] and "No Logic".[18]

In 2010, White Hinterland toured the US and Europe with the album. 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.


White Hinterland released its third studio album Baby[19] on April 1, 2014, through Dead Oceans.[20] Dienel made the ten-song album in a home studio she developed in the basement of her childhood home in Scituate.[21]


In May 2016, it was reported that Justin Bieber and Skrillex were being sued for copyright infringement by White Hinterland, who claims the duo used Dienel's vocal loop from her 2014 song "Ring the Bell" without permission in the song "Sorry".[22] Eight seconds of the "Ring the Bell" riff is allegedly used six times in "Sorry." Co-writers are also included in the suit.[23] Producer Skrillex responded to the claim by uploading a video of himself manipulating the vocals of co-writer Julia Michaels.[24][25] The lawsuit was later dropped.[26]

Further solo work[edit]

Imitation of a Woman To Love[edit]

On May 18, 2017, Dienel released another album under her own name, entitled Imitation of a Woman To Love; Dienel served as the album's writer, singer, producer and engineer.[27] She released two singles from the album: "High Times" (released April 12, 2017; Dienel played every [28] and "Thrasher" (April 28, 2017).[29] Writing for Rolling Stone, Maura Johnston called the album a "sprawling, stunning collection".[30]

Personal life[edit]

From 2008 Dienel lived in Portland, Oregon[31] until she moved back to Scituate to make Baby.[21] She now lives in Brooklyn.[32][33]


As Casey Dienel[edit]

  • Wind Up Canary (2006, Hush Records)
  • Imitation of a Woman to Love (2017, Paddle Your Own Canoe Society)

As White Hinterland[edit]


  1. ^ Casey Dienel: Shining A Floodlight On The Humanness Of Strippers And At Least One Ladies Man Archived December 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Michael, Katzif (May 25, 2006). "Casey Dienel: 'Doctor Monroe'". NPR. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Hush Records: Casey Dienel – "Wind-Up Canary" Archived September 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (April 10, 2006). "Wind-Up Canary Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "Whirligigging with Casey Dienel". WIRED. March 30, 2006. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  6. ^ Heaton, Dave (April 5, 2006). "Casey Dienel: Wind-Up Canary". PopMatters. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  7. ^ "Musings – my book report". Casey Dienel. 2006. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
  8. ^ Musings: Bleating Hearts Archived February 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Musings: Ends in the Beginnings. Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ ", 01/05/08". Archived from the original on January 11, 2008. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  11. ^ Strew, Roque (January 22, 2009). "Luniculaire EP Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  12. ^ "White Hinterland – Kairos (new album / MP3)". PopMatters. January 29, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Chick, Stevie (2010). "Music – Review of White Hinterland – Kairos". BBC. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Sisson, Patrick (March 11, 2010). "Kairos Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  15. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (January 7, 2010). "New White Hinterland – "Icarus"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  16. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (March 9, 2010). "White Hinterland – "Amsterdam" Video (". Stereogum. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "White Hinterland – "Begin Again" Video (". Stereogum. June 11, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  18. ^ Singh, Amrit (August 2, 2010). "White Hinterland – "No Logic" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  19. ^ "Baby Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  20. ^ "Manic" Archived August 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Press release on the new album.
  21. ^ a b "White Hinterland: Boldly Embracing An Evocative Pop Sound". WNYC. April 16, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  22. ^ "White Hinterland Speaks Out on Justin Bieber "Sorry" Lawsuit | Pitchfork". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  23. ^ Stutz, Colin (May 26, 2016). "Justin Bieber & Skrillex Sued Over 'Sorry': Report". Billboard. Retrieved May 26, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ Stutz, Colin (May 27, 2016). "Skrillex on Justin Bieber's 'Sorry' Lawsuit: 'Sorry But We Didn't Steal This'". Billboard. Retrieved May 28, 2016.
  25. ^ "Justin Bieber Will Probably Settle His White Hinterland Lawsuit, Even Though He Shouldn't Have To | Pitchfork". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  26. ^ Britton, Luke (December 19, 2017). "Justin Bieber 'Sorry' lawsuit dropped". New Musical Express. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ White, Caitlin (May 25, 2017). "On Casey Dienel's Glittering Noise-Pop, 'Imitation Of A Woman To Love'". UPROXX. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  28. ^ Ilkowski, Kim (April 12, 2017). "Casey Dienel – "High Times"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  29. ^ Ilkowski, Kim (April 28, 2017). "Casey Dienel – "Thrasher"". Stereogum. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  30. ^ Johnston, Maura (May 19, 2017). "Linkin Park, Little Steven, Snoop Dogg and 26 More Albums to Hear Now". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  31. ^ Mannheimer, Michael (March 9, 2010). "Sexy Back". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  32. ^ Tedder, Michael (May 17, 2017). "Casey Dienel Retires White Hinterland and Discovers Herself". Bandcamp Daily. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  33. ^ Lemay, Joan (February 21, 2017). "Step Inside Casey Dienel's Brooklyn Home And Studio". Nylon. Retrieved June 17, 2017.

External links[edit]