The Western Den Premieres 'Spark, Set Fire' About the 'Confidence and Vulnerability' of Early Romance

Jordan Rich
Western Den

It's been a while since Chris West and Deni Hlavinka, aka the Western Den, went out on their first date. But the indie duo captures that feeling -- generally, if not specific to them -- in their new track "Spark Set Fire," which premieres below from its upcoming debut album A Light Left On.

"It's just the internal narrative of the first date," Hlavinka, who met West during 2011 at the Berklee College of Music and will marry him in April, tells Billboard. "The title is really commanding the spark to set fire. It's about wanting to reach out to someone and wanting to reciprocate that vulnerability. There's a lot of insecurity and doubt, and moments of confidence and vulnerability. The choruses are talking about the roots of attraction, and also those moments when you wish you could just know the answer -- just showing yourself to another person and have them say, 'Me, too.'"

Hlavinka -- who actually wrote her first song with West through a Berklee student Facebook group before they even met -- contends that she and West "don't know if this is necessarily about one and another" and their relationship, but "Spark, Set Fire" certainly pertains to them in its universality, too. "It's just about that feeling in general, which I think everyone's experienced, romantically or platonically," she says. "We obviously had to put ourselves in that mindset, so I'm sure we were both drawing on our personal experiences to create it. I don't know if it's specifically about each other, though I would think there's maybe something about our first date in there." West laughs as she talks, noting that, "It's funny to write love songs and not know if they're about each other."

The Western Den's album, A Light Left On, is due out in early 2019 and follows a pair of EPs the duo released via Bandcamp. They've been playing music together since 2013, which has made them understandable anxious to finally get their music out in the world. "It definitely just feels right for what we've been going for this whole time," West says, "and it feels really authentic to how we feel as people right now. We're definitely nervous and excited and just ready to get something out."

In front of the album's release the Western Den will be playing shows this fall. Dates include:

9.28 Allston, MA - Aeronaut Allston
9.29 Portsmouth, NH - Music Hall Loft
9.30 Freehold, NJ - Concerts in the Studio
10.1 Brooklyn, NY - TBA
10.2 Rochester, NY - Honest Folk
10.4 Spring Lake, MI - Seven Steps Up
10.5 Chicago, IL - Uncommon Ground Lakeview
10.6 Lancaster, WI - Three Springs Barn
10.7 Davenport, IA - House Concert Series
10.9 Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
12.1 Portland, ME - Empire
12.7 Burlington, VT - Light Club Lamp Shop
12.8 Saratoga Springs, NY - Caffè Lena
12.9 Northampton, MA - The Parlor Room