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Moodboard: Blouse

Following up from their debut self-titled album, Blouse took the whole evolution process to regenerative proportions. Where Blouse was pumped with dreamy synths and electronic drum machines, their sophomore release, Imperium, see’s the band shed the aforementioned elements and record the album entirely with “instruments that don’t plug into the wall,” according to bandmember/producer Jacob Portrait. The result is a record enhanced with organic tones while building on Charlie Hilton’s delicate vocals.

Naturally, we had to delve into the mindset behind the Portland three-piece and asked the band to send us a moodboard. Listen to lead single ‘No Shelter’ below and keep scrolling for a list which includes everything from Tequila to 90s Hip-Hop…

The Warehouse
“It’s difficult to think of the band without thinking of this place. We’ve done almost all of our recording and rehearsing there, in a little upstairs room that used to be an office. An architectural reproduction company occupied the space before us, and they left behind all kinds of plaster columns, busts, and giant body parts. Of these, our personal favorite is a big androgynous face that hangs high on a wall and looks directly into the studio window. Some of my earliest memories in this band are the basketball breaks we used to take downstairs when our minds were sore from recording. We’re moving out right now, so Imperium will be the last of our records made there. We’re going to miss that place.”

Truman Capote
“Here is one of my favorite writers. When I think of his work, I’m reminded of ballet. His voice is so effortless, clean, and lyrical, that one easily forgets the heaps of labor buried in the artistry. There’s a song on our new record that was inspired by a paragraph from one of his novels, The Grass Harp. If you’re wondering which song it is, it’s all in the title.”

Eadweard Muybridge
“There’s something curious about the flow of existence. Since it’s impossible for me to disregard this mystery, Time has become a recurring motif in many of our songs. It makes sense then, why Muybridge’s work would have a big impact on this band, particularly his photos exploring frozen motion.”

Louis C.K.
“We love this comedian. We just finished a ten hour drive and spent almost all of it rummaging through the internet to find bits and pieces of his stand-up. I wish we could take him on tour.”

Leonard Cohen
“When Patrick and I first met, we used to listen to Leonard Cohen in the rain on the way home from school. His lyrics are brilliant and he sings so naturally, like he’s talking. He makes me think that all great songwriters must first and foremost be poets, like if there was no such thing as music, that’s exactly what they’d do.”

“We like 90s hip-hop, so this is another one of our touring favorites. For a while, it was the first song we listened to everyday in the van. It’s so good.”

“I love the way Nico sings. Her style has been very influential to me because I don’t have a classically beautiful voice, and sometimes I even sing out of tune, but we’ve decided to embrace imperfection in favor of character. We’re not after anything too polished, but we are very concerned with curating a particular mood. With that, she’s helped me so much. I feel deeply indebted.”

“We really like drinking shots of tequila before we play. We also like drinking shots after we play, and even when we don’t play at all. When you’re touring, it’s good to find a liquor that everyone can agree on, and tequila is the one for us.”

The Musuem of Jurassic Technology
“This is not a typical museum, and there is no logic in its name, but I am in love with its contents, and relieved that such a place exists. The establishment self proclaims that “In its original sense, the term museum meant a spot dedicated to the Muses, a place where man’s mind could attain a mood of aloofness above everyday affairs. If we could do, through music, what visiting this place does to the mind, I would be satisfied beyond my dreams.”


Downtown 81 (“Cheree” – Suicide) from I.J. on Vimeo.

“When we started the band, we talked about this song a lot. You can hear its influence in the production of Shadow, our first single on SubPop. It’s the only Blouse song with a glockenspiel.”

- James Embiricos

Imperium is out now on Captured Tracks

Blouse are set to embark on a European tour and will play in the UK on the following dates:

12/02/13 London – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen United Kingdom
12/03/13 Manchester – Soup Kitchen United Kingdom
12/04/13 Bristol – Start The Bus United Kingdom

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