Hello Delaware writer and frontwoman Dana Beeler has been making some changes. After a solo album, a cross-country tour, and a terrible breakup, she’s punched out her sound with a new producer a full band. Here’s the resulting debut album from Halifax’s Hello Delaware, ‘My Mistake’.
Officially being billed as something reminiscent of Taylor Swift (before her pop restyling) and Gwen Stefani, Hello Delaware‘s melodies have a streak of Red-era Tay, others (‘We Were the Ocean’ in particular) possess a sincere, soft-rocker quality that makes a comparison to Stevie Nicks more accurate. Listen closely to find a hint of Dolly Parton, too, when the vocals warble just right.
That last hint of country, thrown in with the aforementioned pop and rock, makes Beeler’s sound truly her own, “My last album I put out, solo – it was more country, folk-y style. I’ve just been working to try to do new things. My music taste has changed, obviously, since I was nineteen.”
Beeler has taken her new ideas to two-time ECMA winning producer of the year(s) Danny Ledwell (In Flight Safety) to create a multifaceted, mature album. According to Beeler, “The producer, Danny Ledwell, is pretty folky and has a more Americana style, so the album is a little more low key—but live, it’s pretty loud and raw.” When asked about what’s most exciting about this album, Beeler eagerly offers, “Danny Ledwell as the producer; that’s the excitement of it.” Ledwell’s presence is definitely exciting: those ECMAs don’t lie, and there are plenty of great things are coming out of his Echo Lake Studio.
Raucous live performances seem appropriate after Beeler explains the album’s origins, “I went through a breakup and then, as we do, we write songs for emotions.” Like the title, the album operates on two levels, describing the sincere surprise of misjudging a situation while also giving major side-eye to a past lover. So yeah, it’s a breakup album, but an unapologetic one that doesn’t wallow. Amidst the forward, almost accusatory guitars in ‘Black Cherries’, Beeler makes her position clear: “I’m not sorry for you.”
“I just want this to be a little aggressive and angry and fun all at the same time. Something that people can dance to.”
The title track is especially danceworthy, with a playful pop beat that’s startlingly infectious. The soft ‘In The Morning’ evokes sunbeams shining in through windows, tainted with the knowledge that there are issues to be dealt with when you’re “not the only one.”
‘My Mistake’ is the product of not only a breakup, but also a journey across the country to find new grounds. Beeler says, “I basically bought a car and went on this big cross-Canada trip on a whim. Like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna book a hotel super far away and drive there, just because.’ I spent six weeks driving across the country by myself, meeting new people, writing new songs and trying to experience the world for what it is.”
‘Holdin’ On’, the last track written for the album, rings with retrospection. Even though it’s not at the end of the album, its has that hopeful quality that lends itself to marking the end of one journey and the start of another.
Going through a breakup? Hello Delaware will play The Seahorse Tavern on September 30th. Ditch the ice cream and bring your dancing shoes instead.