Ah the west coast strikes again, enter Portland-based trio Blouse and their oh so well-woven dream pop. Forming less than a year again, the project includes the hushed power of Charlie Hilton’s vocals, Patrick Adams, and Jacob Portrait (who has produced with the likes of The Dandy Warhols, The Mint Chicks, and Starfucker). The guys (and girl) already have a couple of strong 7″ available via two very sought after labels and a full-length in the works. Blouse won’t be gracing our stage until September 15th (with Unknown Mortal Orchestra!) so in the meantime, Charlie and Patrick were nice enough to answer a few questions about the burgeoning project, enjoy!
For an up and coming band your resume is already pretty unbelievable with 7″s on Captured Tracks AND Sub Pop. Did you get picked up by both labels via your internet presence or live show whispers or what?
We put two songs on Bandcamp at the end of 2010 and the labels contacted us shortly after. We were pretty excited to hear from them, being fans of both labels and having only started the project a few months back. You could say it’s been a magical year.
Your singles seem to be really well organized as far as an A-side B-side flow to them, is that something you work towards? Does your forthcoming full-length follow a similar consistency?
Thanks, we’re glad you feel that way. We definitely wanted each 7″ to make sense as a whole. It’s fun to imagine songs living with other songs, especially while you’re writing them. We hope the full length will be a nice balance of consistency and experiment.
I’ve read you guys met in a university design class, I don’t know if that’s a focus for you but there’s definitely a cohesion to your sound and your visual presence. As artists do you extend the music to other senses or do you not really bother with that?
School is such a huge part of our lives it’s hard to avoid the two being in cohesion. We’ve always talked about designing everything Blouse-related. Really, it just comes down to time. This summer we have been able to focus on the band more because we’re out of school. Finishing the record, playing shows, and designing more visually for the band are our top priorities right now.
There’s a pop music of many ages quality about the tracks you’ve released–traces of influences from the 60’s all the way to the 90’s. Are there any contemporary artists you find inspiring or feel a musical kinship with?
There are definitely bands out there right now that are inspiring us. We’re amazed at what Soft Moon, Dirty Beaches, and Zola Jesus were able do in the last year, just to name a few.
Your recorded singles are really smooth and lush, is that ever difficult to reproduce live? What’s your general set-up?
Yes, it can be. Right now, we’re not defining the group by the live set-up, but we have some friends that will be joining us for shows. In the past we’ve had a drummer and keyboard player to help with the lush.
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