It’s easy to become disheartened these days. Depressed. Angry. Confused. Such is the state of the world—politically, environmentally, societally—that it’s hard to ignore what’s going on when it comes to making art.
And yet, throughout the 13 songs that make up Dehd’s fourth album, there’s a sense of blissful calm that belies the present, that recalls a time that perhaps never actually was, but feels like it was. It conjures up memories of the kind of childhood you see in movies, the kind of love that you’ve dreamed of forever but never had, the kind of deep sleep you haven’t had for years. It’s an escape into a world we often forget exists because real life gets in the way. Much of that comes down to the gently fuzzy guitar tones and beatific harmonies that give these songs such a timeless, anachronistic quality. And while Blue Skies doesn’t ignore the modern, war-torn world outside, its presence is only implied and felt, not directly referenced.
To that extent, this is an album that’s able to counteract any sense of melancholy within its folds with the knowledge that sadness doesn’t last forever. It’s in the graceful, knowing resignation of opener “Control,” in the “Just Like Honey”–esque tale of survival contained within the jittery rhythm of “Bad Love,” in the hazy, late-night warmth of “Hold.” There’s the dour shoegaze march of “Palomino” and the uplifting rush of reckless emotion heard on “Window,” a song that peers out of itself as much as it does inward. Then there’s “Waterfall,” which is almost as if the Beach Boys dealt in minor chords and sang about the cracked, crumbling America that lies beyond the picture-perfect sand and sea on summer postcards.
All of which is to say that it’s a record—very much like the three that preceded it—that marks Dehd out as something truly special. They’re a band that exist in a world of their own creation, a sad paradise that comforts and soothes you the way your parents did when you were young, when you had no idea about the truth of the horrors of existence. As last track “No Difference” implores, however, once that’s revealed, you have to make the most of it all anyway. This is a record that should be able to help you do that.