PREMIERE: Lorelei K gets vulnerable on new single “Axe and Tree”

Dahlia Knowles is shown in shadow

Dahlia Knowles of Lorelei K. Photo: Katherine Tejada

There is a searing intimacy to Dallas-based dreampop band Lorelei K’s latest single, “Axe and Tree.” Stepping back slightly from its trademark moody propulsion, Lorelei K and its dynamic frontwoman Dahlia Knowles finds a remarkable new gear with this stunning track, which KXT is pleased to premiere below.

The song — which is not found on Lorelei K’s superb 2023 LP Gucci Doom — was, according to the band, a popular addition to its setlist during its recent tour.

The new tune was so well received that Lorelei K went from the road directly to the studio at the end of last year. (In addition to Knowles, the band includes guitarist Mills Chaiken, bassist Rex Davis, drummer Dean Adams and backing vocalist/synth player Michael Briggs.)

“I wrote this song after one of the most pivotal weeks of my life,” Knowles said via email. “It fell out of me in a singular session, like tears. It was something I could not contain. I wanted to explore the darker parts of my mind and expose them to the light. It’s a letter to someone very influential to my life, and it’s a letter to myself.”

The stark lyrics seem to peer inside someone’s psyche — “A girl comes and another leaves/It’s cyclical, yeah soon it’ll be me/But right now I don’t feel anything/And that feels beautiful.” The words rest against layered vocals and airless, stately piano chords.

Deliberate and pensive, “Axe and Tree” might seem like a risk, considering Lorelei K’s arresting, kinetic catalog. But it’s a leap worth taking, Knowles said.

“One of my best friends told me I’m my strongest and most dynamic when I’m honest and vulnerable,” she said via email. “I hope people can hear that.”

To help celebrate the release of “Axe and Tree,” Lorelei K performs Saturday with Smothered and Char-X at Denton’s Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.

Lorelei K will continue to tour the country and will also record new material and work on visual content in 2024, Knowles said.

“I want to rearrange some of our songs to incorporate new instruments,” she added. “Mostly, my plan is to live and gain experiences that I can write to.”

Lorelei K at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, Denton. 8 p.m. Jan. 26. Tickets are $12.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.