DENA is an idiosyncratic young woman who doesn’t set out to impress by traditional standards, yet her stylish insouciance contains a huge amount of foot-tapping charm. With her videos and appearance assuming a ’90s hipster/ghetto-fabulous feel, you’d be forgiven for thinking that DENA operates on a small scale, cadging her friends’ video making skills and creating her own gifs to promote her shows. Yet this is something of an illusion – she’s signed to Kitsune, and with videos passing the half a million mark, this isn’t exactly lo-fi stuff.
“Games” is cheeky yet addictive, a bit like snus. DENA’s oddball Bulgarian accent and an unexpectedly Caribbean sounding breakdown add to the song’s singularity. Oh, and from the comments I’ve seen on youtube and so forth, everyone seems to be comparing her to MIA. They’re not alike, bar that they both reference modern culture, spell their names in all caps and possess ovaries. I await the day that music critics stop assessing new female sounds in terms of “who they sound like”. It’s so lazy, the Internet!