Dallas was just getting to know Deep Red when the band went dark. The duo — comprised of Rosegarden Funeral Party’s Leah Lane, and Scott White, bassist for Dallas metal band Duell — debuted in the “before times” that we fondly look back at as the year of 2019, but after the release of their gorgeous Before You Leave EP in early 2020, the band had become mostly dormant.
Nearly four years later, Lane and White are reemerging from the clutches of the pandemic, which, to a degree, shadowed their thunderous introduction to the North Texas music scene. Now armored with inspirations from fistfuls of rock subgenres, they’re ready to unveil a new sense of their sound.
“We just slowly started pushing at the edges of all of the sounds we’d normally go for,” White said. “We both have such a weird range of music that we listen to on a regular basis that it stopped making sense to only showcase [limited] influences.”
Deep Red’s catalog up to now was modest but mighty, as it was soaked with fuzzy riffs that haunt under a weighted blanket of gloom. Before You Leave was a promising six-song collection of rich shoegaze looking toward the genre’s north stars like UK bands Slowdive and Lush.
Their new dual-single release doesn’t completely shed all of the shapes of the shoegaze that brought them together, but it does reach toward larger influences. Titled “How This Ends” and “Soft Light,” the songs are a swatch of newer shades of Deep Red than when we last heard from them.
During the recording process with Jim King of Dallas’ Sonic Dropper Studios, White was listening to a lot of modern punk to the tune of Turnstile, while Lane was engulfed in David Bowie’s glittering gamut of power pop and glam rock. This new form is especially present on “How This Ends,” with its sharp guitars (Dallas music mainstay Michael Doty of Duell and Son of Stan lent his touch on bass) and the force that is Lane’s vocal prowess. The song is inspired by the moment of realizing a relationship has hit a point of no return and watching it rapidly break down.
Despite their newfound direction coming from so many sides of the sonic spectrum, their connection as close friends has fostered trust in each of their songwriting.
“We’re anchors for each other,” White said. “There’s such a deep level of trust between the two of us creatively and I think that just allows it to be whatever it’s telling us it wants to be — we trust each other to bring our best to this.”
“Soft Light” rests more closely to Deep Red’s shoegaze sensibilities, as it’s melancholic to its core. The track first sprung from White’s struggles with crushing anxiety about mortality in the winter of 2020 when the pandemic still felt like an endless battle study.
“This song is me trying to convey the feeling I hope I experience when I do pass,” he said.
While Deep Red’s greatest strength has always been the band’s comfort in facing the raw sadness of their songwriting, the band is excited to step out of the dark again.
“I hope the wait was worth it,” White said. “I’m just happy to still be making this music with my friend.”
“How This Ends” and “Soft Light” will be available on streaming platforms November 15, but you can hear the exclusive first listen of each track below.