Du Blonde: Welcome Back to Milk (Mute) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame ImpalaDu Blonde

Welcome Back to Milk


May 18, 2015 Du Blonde Bookmark and Share

Coming to the end of the “David Bowie Is…” exhibition, this U.K. singer/songwriter was reminded of reasons why she chose to pursue music: the creative freedom it allowed artists to explore, to change, and to push their own boundaries. Browsing Bowie’s many transformations, she felt regret at holding on to one sound and persona. Soon after, Beth Jeans Houghton, formerly of the Hooves of Destiny, became Du Blonde.

The change of identity is more than cosmetic. There are a few common threads tying Welcome Back to Milk to Houghton’s debut, Yours Truly, Cellophane Nosethe singer’s dominant vocals, the malleability of styles within the tracksbut they could almost be the work of two entirely different artists. Gone are the complex arrangements: Du Blonde’s album is more streamlined and traditional, as opposed to the psych-folk and gnarly baroque that came before. Produced by Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos, the album is made to be played loud: opening rocker “Black Flag” has the heavy drumbeat, churning bass line, and distorted crunch embraced on the Grinderman records. Among the rock songs there are aggressive, punkish bursts (“If You’re Legal,” “Chips to Go”) and piano pop (“Raw Honey,” “After the Show”). All display some degree of the creative experimentation of her debut, but Du Blonde’s songs fit more easily into neat categories, where the first record’s were nearly impossible to pin down. The highlight moment comes near the end, in “My Mind Is On My Mind,” when Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring provides a brief but no-holds-barred vocal appearance. (www.facebook.com/DuBlondeOfficial)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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