Discotelle delivers a boisterous yet emotionally sensitive EP, showcasing their colorful voice and dynamic abilities.
In the space between receiving her degree from the University of Tennessee in Theatre, and leaving her Knoxville home for the city of stars, Dani Disotelle spends her time cracking jokes, seeing friends, and kicking off a new sex-indie-sway-rock band, Discotelle.
Discotelle formed in August 2017 after an acoustic version of Disotelle’s song “Absent” appeared on Taped Records’ fourth compilation. Disotelle connected with drummer and producer Henry Pack, and bassist Nate Stewart and began recording songs for their first EP at Buzzkill Studio. That EP dropped on December 13th, as Taped Records’ first official album release.
The EP, while only eleven minutes long, captures both Disotelle’s vibrant personality and the disconnected, foggy, dream-like state of living that many young adults can relate to all too easily. Disotelle’s physical presence feels genuine, wild, and accepting. Her personality shines through her musical presence as well, giving her audience a taste of what it must be like to think like her. The four tracks are a testament to her ability to communicate to listeners through self-expression. Being able to enter Disotelle’s point of view is one of the most enjoyable parts of the music, because of the necessity for fresh outlooks in the music scene.
Knoxville’s scene is largely comprised of men, somewhere between the ages of twenty and forty, so women’s points of view are almost never represented, or at least not clearly or accurately. Disotelle wears her heart on her sleeve without falling into the trope that male musicians always expect for women to fall into: muse, damsel, or play doll. A confident female voice like hers is just what Knoxville needs desperately.
Through the entirety of the EP, listeners get the feeling they are living Disotelle’s dreams and emotional moments along with her. “Escapism” is an appropriate introduction, catching the audience off-guard with a sense of unsureness and dissociation, leading into the dream theme. “Carrot” is a catchy tune taking place in a comedic narrative, bringing Disotelle’s wit to the surface. Not to mention, the song disregards social taboos about women discussing their sexual lives and thoughts, which breaks a barrier that has not yet really been confronted in Knoxville’s music scene. Contrasting with the first two tracks, “Absent” feels palpably heavy, even angsty, through its building and ebbing momentum and somewhat monotonous vocals. Discotelle ends with “Current Events,” in classic indie rock sound, but with more groove. The repeating chorus is a comforting escape from the wildly emotional verses as Disotelle insists to her audience “We can turn it off, we can just pretend it’s not happening.” This song not only speaks to an entire generation of young people struggling with staying tuned in to current events within the world and their personal lives, but also summarizes the EP’s overarching theme of disconnection.
The music altogether is, in a word, dynamic. The tracks, while maintaining similar themes throughout the EP, each have their own tone and their own inspirations. "Discotelle" is brilliantly individual, while it simultaneously maintains the ability to connect with an audience universally.
"Discotelle" is now available on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Spotify.
By Zoe Evans