DENM tries to return to the basics on "Square One," a story of love-gone-wrong and regret.

There's nothing quite like the beginning of a new relationship. The entire world takes on an incandescent neon glow as your nervous system is flooded with a powerful hormonal cocktail. You feel mighty, invincible. You're walking six inches above the ground.

Of course, anyone who's been in a relationship (or seen one from a distance, or known someone who's been in a relationship) knows that the honeymoon period doesn't last very long. Life goes on, with all of its attendant problems. These problems don't waste any time ripping your newfound love to pieces like a wet tissue. It's as cruel as it is inevitable.



"Square One" traces this trajectory of euphoria and despondency in gritty, glorious detail. DENM details where things went wrong, taking care to own his issues and where he messed up, in a smooth-crooning lowkey flow. His vocals are like Drake if the mile-thick wall of production could be cracked to reveal the human behind the DeGrassi Jr. High alum.

We Are: The Guard hopes DENM moves forward with this low-key trap seduction in addition to his distinctive California Garage Pop.

DENM's EP Is Whatever is out now and available for streaming/download.

J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.