Album of the Week: Charly Bliss | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 28th, 2024  

Album of the Week: Charly Bliss

HÆLOS and Clinic Are Runner-ups (Plus Stream New Albums from Mac DeMarco, Maps, The Get Up Kids, and More)

May 10, 2019 Maps Bookmark and Share

Charly Bliss released a new album, Young Enough, today via Barsuk and it’s our Album of the Week. Find more info on the album below, as well as on two runner-ups that were almost our Album of the Week. Below that are streams of other notable albums released today.

Charly Bliss: Young Enough (Barsuk)

Young Enough is the band’s sophomore album, the follow-up to 2017’s Guppy. The new album finds the band adding a little more pop to their punk, and yet frontwoman Eva Hendricks’ lyrics don’t pull any punches.

“I don’t know why it’s easiest for me to frame the darkest lyrics in the context of upbeat songs,” said Hendricks in a press release announcing the album. “It’s completely instinctual and not something I ever plan out. It sort of mirrors how I am, and maybe it’s a way of protecting myself. In my opinion, the two best emotional releases are crying and dancing, so it makes sense to me to marry the two.”

Many of the album’s lyrics were inspired by a past abusive relationship Hendricks had. “You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving,” she said in the press release. “You look around and wonder, how has the world not stopped? But it’s also powerful. I’m still here, I’m not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am.”

With Young Enough Hendricks has overcome her self-doubt as a songwriter, finding new confidence in her craft. “For a long time I understood my ability to write songs as like, OMG another one just fell from the sky what luck - another one will never come again!” she said. “Now I know, I’m meant to be doing this. And I accept and honor that.”

Charly Bliss also features Hendricks’ brother, Sam Hendricks, alongside Spencer Fox and Dan Shure. For Young Enough the band worked with producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The White Stripes).

Previously Charly Bliss shared a video for Young Enough‘s first single, “Capacity,” which was one of our Songs of the Week (and the video was directed by Michelle Zauner aka Japanese Breakfast). Then they shared another new song from the album, “Chatroom,” also via a video for it. Maegan Houang directed the twisted clip, which starred Hendricks as the member of a cult. “Chatroom” was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another new song from the album, “Hard to Believe,” via a video for it (it also made our Songs of the Week list).

Our critic Michael James Hall had this to say about Young Enough in his review of the album: “On Young Enough, a lengthier, more polished record [than Guppy], the pop levels are peaking while the detuned guitars provide more of a supporting role to the glistening production, layered synths, and Hendricks’ iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove vocal intonations.”

Hall closes his review with this: “A little early in arriving, perhaps, this is one of those rare records that sounds like a Greatest Hits compilation and simultaneously a summer mixtape while, by the time winter rolls around, we’ll be digging deeper into the reflective, cracked mirror lyrics to provide us with a little familiar, melancholic comfort. It’s essential.” (Read the full review here.)

Summing up her ideal reaction to Young Enough, Hendricks said: “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record. Like you’re working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you’re in a lot of pain. That’s what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken.”

Charly Bliss Tour Dates:

5/11 - Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape

5/13 - London, UK @ The Garage
5/14 - London, UK @ Rough Trade (Free entry with album purchase)
5/16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (Free entry with album purchase)
6/6 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry *
6/7 - Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall *
6/8 - Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom *
6/9 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
6/11 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom *
6/12 - Detroit, MI @ Loving Touch *
6/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ Top Cats *
6/15 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
6/16 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
6/18 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater *
6/19 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
6/21 - Portland, OR @ Holocene *
6/22 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile *
6/24 - Oakland, CA @ The New Parish *
6/27 - Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room *
6/28 - Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction *
6/29 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah *
6/30 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
7/2 - Dallas, TX @ Cambridge Room (House of Blues) *
7/3 - Austin, TX @ Stubb’s BBQ Indoors *
7/5 - Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock (House of Blues) *
7/6 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa *
7/7 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade Purgatory *
7/9 - Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge *
7/11 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall #
7/12 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom * SOLD OUT
7/19 - Melbourne, AUS @ The Curtin
7/21 - Wooyung, AUS @ Splendour in the Grass
7/23 - Sydney, AUS @ Lansdowne
10/7 - Victoria, BC @ BC Capital Ballroom ^
10/9 - Vancouver, BC @ BC Capital Ballroom ^
10/11 - Calgary, AB @ Macewan Hall ^
10/13 - Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos Cantina ^
10/14 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre ^
10/17 - Kingston, ON @ The Ale House ^

* w/ Emily Reo
# w/ Chvrches
^ w/ PUP

Album of the Week Runner-ups:

HÆLOS: Any Random Kindness (Infectious)

London-based band HÆLOS released a new album, Any Random Kindness, today via Infectious. Any Random Kindness is the band’s second album, the follow-up to 2016’s debut full-length, Full Circle, which was released via Matador.

HÆLOS were originally a trio (Arthur Delaney, Dom Goldsmith, and Lotti Benardout), but have now added touring member Daniel Vildósola. On their debut the band pulled from ‘90s trip-hop sounds originated by Massive Attack and Portishead for inspiration.

Any Random Kindness was recorded at Baltic Studios in East London and at their home studio. For it they worked with producer Orlando Leopard, and Matt Wiggins (Glass Animals) and Marta Salongi (The xx) mixed the album.

A previous press release pointed out: “The latter part of the recording was especially tense, with many near breakups. However, this process led to a new, optimistic perception of each other, and music that explored the push and pull of relationships. A new, increasingly dance-floor oriented direction to their sound emerged.”

The album includes “Buried in the Sand,” a new song the band shared back in October via a video (it was one of our Songs of the Week), and “Kyoto,” a new song shared in January via a video for it (it was also one of our Songs of the Week). Then they shared another new song from the album, “Boy / Girl.” That was followed by “End of the World Party” (which also made our Songs of the Week list). Then they shared another song from it, “Another Universe,” which was the album’s last pre-release single and also made our Songs of the Week list.

Read our 2015 article on HÆLOS.

Clinic: Wheeltappers and Shunters (Domino)

Liverpool post-punks Clinic released their first new album in seven years, Wheeltappers and Shunters, today via their longtime label Domino.

The band’s last album was 2012’s Free Reign. “We’d released albums like clockwork every two years, so it seemed natural to have a break,” explained frontman Ade Blackburn in a previous press release about the long gap between albums. “It allowed everyone to do some quite oddball stuff, away from Clinic. I think we all wanted a bit more freedom.”

Wheeltappers and Shunters’ album title is inspired by a 1970s British variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, which was hosted by Bernard Manning and according to the press release “recreated the smoky, boozy atmosphere of Northern working men’s clubs for a sofa-bound audience.”

“It’s been a pisstake thing between us for quite a few years,” Blackburn explained. “Whenever we’d talk about a song sounding too ‘cabaret’ or too nice, we’d say, ‘That’s a bit Wheeltappers and Shunters.’”

Wheeltappers and Shunters looks back on the culture 1970s era Blackburn and “his collaborator-in-chief” Jonathan Hartley grew up in. “It’s a satirical take on British culture - high and low,” Blackburn said. “It fascinates me that people look back on the 1970s as the glory days. It’s emerged that there was a darker, more perverse side to that time. When you look back on it now it was quite clearly there in mainstream culture.”

The previous press release set the scene for Wheeltappers and Shunters: “The Great Britain that Clinic are evoking is not that ancient, bucolic past of village green cricket, half a mild and hanky-waving Morris Dancers that many seem so determined that the country should return to, but a rather more sleazy past. Clinic’s reverie is for a time when Blackpool was the pleasure capital of the kingdom and the public was kept entertained by traveling circuses and the dirty glamour of the funfair; tacky end of the pier merriment and enforced fun at Butlins; when bell-ringing town criers bellowed their nonsensical broadsides into the ether.”

The album was recorded last year at Hartley’s Liverpool studio. Then Dilip Harris (King Krule, Sons of Kemet, Mount Kimbie) mixed the album. “We thought it felt right to make a fun, dancefloor album in these dark and conservative times,” said Blackburn.

Previously Clinic shared a video for the album’s first single, “Rubber Bullets,” which was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another song from the album, opening track “Laughing Cavalier,” also via a Joseph May-directed animated video (it was also one of our Songs of the Week).

Also Released This Week:

Dark Morph: Dark Morph (Krunk)

Mac DeMarco: Here Comes the Cowboy (Mac’s Record Label)

The Get Up Kids: Problems (Polyvinyl)

Tim Hecker: Anoyo (Kranky)

Holly Herndon: Proto (4AD)

Maps: Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. (Mute)

Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy! (Jagjaguwar)

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