One of our favourite album’s back in 2017, was the sublime self-titled debut by Blush, the Brooklyn-band formed around the songwriting talents of former Darlings member, Maura Lynch. With new material in the pipeline, Arrowhawk Records have taken this opportunity to re-issue the record in a deluxe format, featuring demo versions of the tracks on the album, as well as some demos of previously unheard material.
As ever when listening to demo versions, it’s intriguing to hear just where the wonderful finished material was first birthed. In Blush’s case this seems to really focus on the intimacy and perfect simplicity of their sound; vocals distort as they soar, guitars twang and simplistic processed-beats sketch out skeletal structures of where the profoundly brilliant songs would take us in the end.
Arguably even more exciting is the addition of some brand new material; they seem to pick up where their debut left-off, as breezy rhythms swoop around Maura’s emotive vocal and shimmering tones of keyboard and guitar. They seem to combine the intimacy of an acoustic performance, with the lush, dreamy productions that elevate them to thrilling new sonic planes. To those who loved them back in 2017, a timely reminder of why Blush are one of the most exciting bands we’ve heard in years – For those who didn’t, an invitation to not miss the boat the second time around, and float away with your new favourite band.
Today the band have put together a Mixtape inspired by a fruity themed chain of New York Mini-Marts, named after characters like Mr. Coco, Mr. Plum and Mr. Berry. They’ve focused on the green fuzziness of Mr. Kiwi, picking some feel-good tracks for warm weather vibes featuring the likes of Solange, Charlie Rich and Dusty Springfield.
1. Pierre Kwenders – Sexus Plexus Nexus
Jon Campolo (drums, vox) – Canadian-African rhumba R&B, a favorite from 2017! Totally underrated funk-lounge record that is bright, sexy, and weird.
2. Dur-Dur Band – Tajir Waa Ilaah
JC – A 2013 release from Awesome Tapes from Africa, a favorite label and DJ with a maze-like historical discography
3. Marcos Valle – Estrelar
JC – Super shiny and juicy ‘80s Brazilian pop from a bossa nova king. Cocktail music!
4. Charlie Rich – Rollin’ With The Flow
Andrew Chugg (bass, keys) – An easygoing celebration of a rock & roll lifestyle.
5. Wayne Wonder – No Letting Go
AC: A simple, fun song. The synths and percussion on this track are very special.
6. Dusty Springfield – Spooky
Maura (vox, guitar) – Oh man, this is dreamy. I heard this played loud and clear at a wedding last summer and have been looping it ever since.
7. Solange – Binz
M: So simple, so carefree. I keep thinking about this quote: “Obviously with A Seat at the Table I had so much to say… With this album I had so much to feel.”
8. Gregg Kowalsky – Tuned To Monochrome
Nick Campolo (guitar) – It’s a warm bubbly soda blanket for the sunset.
9. OMC – How Bizarre
NC: Come on y’all, let’s throw the top back and cruise to Coney Island!
10. Abyssinians – Zion I Dub
NC: The sweet harmonies sail in this sunny roots reggae fiesta.