By Iliana Ramirez
Label: Lemonade Records
Date Released: February 23, 2018
Debut albums are crucial to a band’s career as they give listeners a first glimpse of what their sound is. With that being said, Georgia-based band, DEGA, has already done a tremendous job of declaring their indie pop sound on their first album. The band consists of husband and wife duo, Kalen and Aslyn Nash. They both have had experience in the music industry, with Kalen being a member of Georgia band Ponderosa and Aslyn previously touring with pop singer, Kesha. Their different backgrounds of indie rock and pop as well as experiences in the music industry have merged together in order to create a dreamy, synth pop sound. They leave lasting impressions on listeners.
The first track of Dega, “Don’t Call It,” is upbeat, calming and joyful. Right off the first track, listeners hear a balanced range of vocals from both Kalen and Aslyn. Their similar tone of voices is what brings this album together and makes it work so well. With catchy synth riffs and the repetitive lyrics, “You Know,” will have listeners singing the song throughout their day. The catchiness of this track leaves listeners wanting more.
The next track, “Ocean Love,” begins with a synth riff reminiscent of a 1980s video game. This retro riff remains in the background of the track as it is mixed with Aslyn’s dreamy and smooth vocals. Through the entirety of this album, listeners are reminded of an older sound, most likely due to the continuous use of retro synth. This is especially true for the track, “Right Type of Lover.” This track gives off a retro feeling, similar to something of an early 90s R&B group. With love being a central focus on this album Kalen and Aslyn looked to their own relationship when creating the album. Furthermore, the band explores finding love, sharing it and getting lost in it.
One of the most captivating and personal tracks on this album is “Phoenix.” It begins heavily with synth and gives listeners goosebumps when Aslyn’s vocals are brought out. With no percussion present until the second half of the track, this gives listeners an opportunity to focus on Aslyn’s emotional and angelic vocals. While creating this album, Aslyn suffered from a miscarriage and the couple experienced the feeling of loss. The title, “Phoenix,” symbolizes the sense of life the couple found after suffering loss.
By touring with acts like Washed Out, Dega are already establishing their image and sound as a new band. Their chemistry as husband and wife is evident on this album as you feel as though you can see them singing to each other throughout the album. Dega is an album which encompasses the feeling of having a good time and being carefree, which is exactly what the husband-wife duo had in mind when creating this debut album.
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