At the crossroad of passionate soul ballads and classic, harmonious R&B, Dende sonically thrives from the throes of a battered heart.
Two months removed from his teaser EP “Before We Crash” — which featured hidden snippets of his latest album ‘95 Civic (March 8) — the Texas-based singer has a fondness for love-torn escapades whether it’s for better or for worse. The precision on his proper full-length LP is not only inherently exquisite, but strategic with each passing track. ‘95 Civic not only invites listeners with the iridescent nostalgia of smooth ‘90s R&B — a la “‘95 Civic” — but showcases Dende’s undeniable breadth of talent as a captivating, generational vocalist.
“Releasing ’95 Civic feels like the last thing I needed to do to move on to the next phase of my life. Although it’s a sad project, the time it allowed me to spend with A&R Mizz and producer Billy Blunt is something I will never forget. This is our best work yet.”Dende via release
Of-the-moment and perfectly imperfect, Dende expresses eons of passion that translates to shimmering sonic bliss. Slow burns and sad anthems like “Swerve,” “I Drove By Your House Today” and “I Wrote You A Song” tie together undisputed hits in “Nightmares,” “Selfish,” “Lost” and “Wish You Well” featuring fast-spitting CXR superstar Chris Patrick — who interpolates Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” on his opening lines.
“I’m just your part-time lover / clock in, clock out / blow your back out as friends,” he introspectively sings on “Part-Time Lover,” as Dende draws back on his southern gospel roots on “Perspective” which sees the CXR mainstay beautifully riff over uplifting choral layers. A takeaway worth one stream: Compassionate crooning meets raw thoughts on ‘95 Civic, revealing a poignant balance between emotionally striking lyricism, pure-of-heart vocals and innovative production. For those running from turmoil, let Dende show you serenity.
It’s evident CXR is nurturing something special with their rostered talent (Chris Patrick, Dende, Erykah Officer, Billy Blunt, Noah). Catch their set at SXSW on March 18 as Chris Patrick’s “Gang Actvity Tour” comes to a close on March 13.
Check out ‘‘95 Civic’ below!