Friday, April 26, 2013

Blanche as a name on Bleeding Gold Records

I took French in high school, and like most high school kids, had no intention of ever using it again and would be embarrassed to even attempt speaking it out loud today. If only my teachers would have said, "The only way you’re going to find out about the new Blanche As A Name single is if you translate their facebook biography." I would have probably gotten a lot better grades and still remembered conjugations to this day. That’s why I’m happy to announce I’m going to be starting a home school with a curriculum based entirely around the seven inch single. it's easy:
Math - If you have to send 76 of these singles out to blogs and the pressing was 300, how many are left? Did you break even?
Science – how are these two clear colors of vinyl going to interact with each other in the pressing process?
Social Studies – Which country has pressed the most singles from foreign artists?
Gym – Ummm...throw old seven inches like horseshoes?

A-Side’s "Frost" opens with backwards-masked electronics leading into a percussion kit booming away in the distance. The two members, Sebastien and Benedicte, who I’m assuming are on the cover walking away from the camera, have a ghostly vocal quality delivering lyrics (in English) with a breathy hush in harmony together. It's delivered with a sense of conviction, knowing exactly where they're going, the exact opposite to the chaotic rising chord changes and huge atmospheric sky, which is opening up for the sadness to come. They sing about freezing to death by opening the freezer and slowly getting colder? Easily the worst way to go. They use percolating electronics that come across optimistic and create this sunny outlook on the melancholy content... a sort of celebration of depression. It's heavily gated and exciting, like Postal Service, in striving for this perfect production, not a note or effect out of place. Sounding like nothing organic on earth, and impossible to understand on a fallible human level. They’ve spent countless hours on microphone placement and digital tweaking in getting these sounds just right, coming up with their impossible constructions rivaling the very things their made of.

"Like A Lake" on the reverse uses their focus of dual breathy vocal and guitar timings with slightly off-jerking notes dropping out before they should. There's an oppressive feeling in this gritty guitar riff alone and menacing. When the percussion piles in with fills it does nothing to alleviate this tension. There's also something foreign about the pacing, or the vocal delivery, especially when a guitar deliberately comes in out of tune and bends notes around odd keys. I'm into this vocal effected style, like Thomas Dolby or their take on a post Naomi Klaus. It’s a massive, overblown sound that belongs in the top 40 range of production, only to ignore where this would traditionally go in the obvious chorus/verse changes. Putting everything and the kitchen sink into an indefinable goth (well, you couldn’t call it happy) dance production number that should end with a curtain falling.

Beautiful clear and blue split vinyl from Bleeding Gold Records.

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