10 to Spin | Née

Meet Kristin Dennis. AKA Née.

Yeah, we had to consult a dictionary, too.

née adj nā
1 : used to identify a woman by her maiden family name
2 : originally or formerly called

As she recently told I Went To a Show, Dennis picked the name to represent her music because the creative process essentially allowed her to return to her true self, the person she’s been from the get-go.

And, people must really like that person. ‘Cause every music blog in Saint Louie is eating up Née’s debut EP, The Hands of Thieves, and Speakers in Code is no exception. Her sound is power electro-dance-pop, like if The Knife and Kate Nash had a baby, and then that baby eventually grew up to dance herself silly on Solid Gold.

What I’m particularly addicted to is Née’s quirky phrasing and brassy lyrics. My favorite track on the EP is “Absolom.” Here, the opening lines are, “Keep your hands to yourself/ I’ve got more love than I can hold/ Heavy as a heart attack/ But you whisper into my neck/ I need you, I need you…” I mean, sweet sassy molassey; it’s this perfect mix of confidence and vulnerability. Luckily, you can download the whole gosh darn thing for $FREE.99 on Née’s website. This is a must have, folks. Get to gettin’.

Interestingly enough, Dennis mixes her creative side with a healthy dose of science on the regular. Guess what. She performs post-mortem ocular surgery to recover corneas for future transplant. We know. Jump back.

And, she’s made a mix for us as Speakers in Code. Enjoy Née’s ten songs that get her absolutely jazzed to harvest those eyeballs. Complete with commentary.

Pump-Up Music for Post-Mortem Ocular Recovery

When performing a complicated task like surgical ocular recovery within the space of approximately 1.5 square inches, one might imagine that absolute concentration and the steadiest of hands are required. And one would be correct. But, that does NOT apply to the booty. I have off-handedly choreographed several dances throughout the course of my time in ocular recovery and developed a thorough catalogue of albums that apply perfectly to the process…sterile and non-sterile. Also, it seems to be rare for people to die during normal 9-5 office hours, so most of the time I’m really, really tired and in need of “pump-up” music to keep alert. Below is a sampling of tracks from several albums that have become my soundtrack to post-mortem ocular recovery and ended up inspiring me to create the kind of music I’ve been working on lately with Née.

Kent – Musik Non Stop

Kent is a band my “super cool” high school boyfriend’s “super cooler” older brother introduced me to. It makes me feel educated and fancy to enjoy music sung in another language. Other than that, Kent is also completely amazing.

Scissor Sisters – Kiss You Off

Scissor Sisters…so fun! This entire album is perfect for the prep work of ocular recovery. At one point, I listened to the album Ta Dah for every procedure. This led into my development of the “Peel-Pack Sterile Supplies” dance during which I would open my supplies and trash the wrappers to the beat. If the morgues in Oregon had cameras, the security staff would have fallen in love with me.

N.A.S.A. – Gifted (Treasure Fingers Remix)

Everybody loves a remix. This song has an excellent beat for drawing blood.

Teddybears – Rocket Scientist

Ever “gone sterile”? If you have, you know the feeling of zen that laying out your supplies, scrubbing-in, and being in a world of perfect sterility. If you don’t, imagine a zone between shoulders and waist that is completely germ free…the cleanliness and godliness of it all.

Sleigh Bells – Crown On The Ground

Who doesn’t like Pro Tools tracks being digitally clipped the fuck out? Sleigh Bells is excellent “I just got in the car at 3 AM” music for it’s jarring-but-lovable catchiness.


Sometimes coffee just doesn’t do it. Especially on the drive home at 6 AM. This song reminds you that there are, in fact, people in Chicago/L.A./NYC still partying and can help to develop, in the most tired medical personnel, a rally of solidarity in the earliest of hours.

Major Lazer – Keep It Goin’ Louder

I love this song as much for its catchy “pop-ness,” as I do for its Eric Wareheim-directed music video. Imagining ladies in stars-n-stripes bathing suits blasting into outer space really adds vim and vigor to an otherwise dimly-lit morgue atmosphere.

Jenny Peer – La Carretilla

Reggaton…. don’t hate! There was a period when I was pretty obsessed with the show The L Word, and that level of vagina power can smooth out even the most stressful quandaries when dealing with medical charts.

Missy Elliot – Pass That Dutch

Due to an unfortunate car wash incident, my antenna on my car is missing. This made it often my only option to listen to pop/R&B/rap radio on many long drives down the coast of Oregon or through the (endless) prairies of Missouri. It was partially this influence that encouraged me to try to make an electro-pop record. Although I could sing every word of most songs that came on, certain ones have always stolen my pop-heart.

Peaches – I Don’t Give A Fuck

Of course Peaches must be included. This woman has amazing talent and charisma for days… And she just doesn’t give a fuck. Pager going off in the middle of the night? This song will get you on the road and to Carl’s Jr. for a veggie burger in no time flat.

So, you’re totally enamored at this point, right? Great news! Née’s gotta gig this Saturday, March 12th with Humdrum and Tight Pants Syndrome at The Tap Room in downtown Saint Louis. Get there around 8:30, and you won’t be disappointed.

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