Jules Hale would much rather transpose life’s left turns into melody than rehash them on some therapist’s couch. “You discover different parts of yourself that you aren’t actively trying to find,” the 24-year-old Virginia native says of her song-crafting. “You’re testing yourself, and that’s better than spending $300 an hour to talk to someone.”
“Loceke” — the gossamer new album that Hale has made under her nom-du-rock, Den-Mate — feels like a dreamy form of self-help, with an emphasis on the self. She plays just about every instrument on the recording, and she says that minding every last detail of these shimmering songs is what allows them to feel transportative. “If I’m able to make a song that’ll take me to a completely different universe, if I can find some other realm, then I know I’ve made progress,” Hale says. “If I don’t know where I am, I know I’ve done my job.”
This is deeply personal music, but it might not be Hale’s most personal. She likes to work slowly, and along the way, she makes a point to stash plenty of her music away for her own exclusive listening — songs she can spin all alone, preferably in her car.
How many tracks does she have hidden away in the glove compartment? “At least, like, 40,” Hale says, laughing. “But really, a lot of people are very focused on selling their musicianship as a style, or a brand or an aesthetic, and I get overwhelmed by that. I think it’s important to save something for yourself. Not everything has to go on social media.”
Show: Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Cat. $15.