Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
Review of Blouse’s Blouse
Amanda Leigh SmithAnd we’re back. Gotta tell you, folks – actually taking a holiday during the holidays? I could get used to that. But if I stayed off the job, then I couldn’t write about Blouse and I kind of want to write about Blouse, considering I was listening to their self-titled debut an awful lot in the weeks leading up to and throughout the holidays.
The trio collects their mail in Portland, Oregon but draw their inspiration from the great English art-rock labels of the ’80s; their sound is steeped in the catalogs of 4AD, Factory and Fiction Records. That means mechanical rhythms, echoed guitars, roaming basslines, sweeping synths, all of that good stuff. But most essentially it means icy vocals with just enough English-accented affectation courtesy of lead singer Charlie Hilton – she sounds detached where she needs to but is also emotive and in touch with her inner romantic.
There’s nothing particularly unfamiliar in any of this, but what sets them apart from other era revivalists is that rather sound as though they’re a meticulously crafted tableau unearthed from a time capsule, Blouse has enough looseness, warmth and energy woven into it to come across as a wholly fresh and living thing. Blouse was released back at the start of November, probably just late enough to get lost in the shuffle of year-end shenanigans. So before turning your eyes and ears straight on ahead to 2012, take a moment to try Blouse on.
Yeah that’s all for today. Hey, things don’t go from 0 to 100 at the drop of a hat.