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Diet Lite’s ‘Debora’ proves a hurtin’ heart is best listened to loud

Two men play electric guitars in a live-music club while another man plays drums behind them.
Victoria Marie Photography
Diet Lite

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to ourMusic Submission page to learn how.

Listen to enough music, and it starts falling into three camps:

  1. Nope — Almost-instant recognition this isn’t for you
  2. Hmm — Uncertainty upon first listen but willing to give it a chance
  3. Yep — Immediate reach for the “volume up” button

When I first played Diet Lite’s single “Debora,” which we’re premiering here, all I heard was a volume-cranker. A decibel-doubler. A “colleague forced to wave their arms frantically to get your attention because your earbuds are in and well past the recommended level” type of song.

Is it the bouncy alt-country-ish guitar? The joyful organ courtesy of Sleepy Gaucho’s Andy Goitia? The arrhythmic vocal pattern that would set Shakespeare’s teeth on edge? Yes to all three.

The track’s sound flies in the face of the lyrical content, which the band summarized as “hard-fought love lost and the bitter craving for something you know probably ain’t all that good for you, in the vein of Dylan’s ‘Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine).’”

I see you walkin down the street
You know Debora you should be standing here with me
Slipping a dozen truths into that one big lie
Sure don’t make no difference when we’re riding on your time

I’m walking behind ya
Leaving the door open too
Your style’s dime a dozen, but it’s working for you
You’re looking pretty smart and pretty mean
Debora I crave your sympathy

While it’s possible the subject of the song’s ire is a real person, the name has strictly cinematic roots. It was inspired by the Lily James character from 2017’s Baby Driver, who lamented the near-total lack of “Debora” tunes in the world. As the band noted, “We wanted to give her one more song.”

This particular “Debora” is part of Diet Lite’s soon-to-be-released album Into the Pudding, which you’ll be able to hear in full this Friday, April 14. You also have two opportunities to see the band live this week: at our Walker’s Point studios for Thursday’s State of Sound and Saturday night in the Back Room for their album-release show with special guests Social Cig and Kangaroo Court.

Diet Lite spring tour dates

  • April 13 — State of Sound @ Radio Milwaukee
  • April 15 — Into the Pudding album-release show @ the Back Room
  • April 28 — House Show in West Lafayette, Ind.
  • April 29 — The Brass Rail in Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • May 5 — Golden Dagger in Chicago
  • May 12 — Midwest Music Fest in Winona, Minn.
  • May 13 — Gabe's in Iowa City, Iowa