Du Blonde: Homecoming (Daemon T.V.) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, June 13th, 2021  

Du Blonde

Homecoming

Daemon T.V.

Apr 09, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Beth Jeans Houghton’s third album as Du Blonde, Homecoming, is very much a DIY affair. Having become somewhat pissed off with the financial and artistic constraints of working with record labels, she decided to take full control of her art as she explains in her press notes. “I’ve always felt that the music industry as it stands is weighted more towards record labels than artists,” she said. “There’s an element of gaslighting involved, a whole ‘you’ll be nothing without us’ vibe that keeps you in the system because you think you might fail without it. But I woke up one day and was like, ‘I’m broke, I’m stressed and depressed, I don’t own the rights to my music and I have to buy my own albums for close to full price if I want to sell any at my shows.’”

Homecoming was written, recorded, and produced by Houghton and released on her own label, Daemon T.V., which was originally a platform for her fashion designs. The album makes space for a few special guest appearances but this is very much Houghton’s baby and perhaps her most accessible work to date. That’s not to say she doesn’t ponder on some of the darker subjects that ran through her previous album, the raw and beautifully bleak Lung Bread For Daddy (2019). Themes such as breakups, anxiety, medication, and mental health are still there, but in a way that sounds playful, cathartic, hopeful, and even joyous. You’re certainly left with the impression that Houghton actually had enormous fun engaging with her fans and going it alone.

It genuinely is a fabulous album full of vim and vigour, from the celebratory burp that opens the album on the effervescent lip curling fuzz pop of “Pull the Plug” to the “tears at prom night vibe” (musically at least) on the gorgeous album closer “Take Me Away.” In between, there’s what sounds like a duet with a horny demon on “Smoking Me Out,” there’s the Marc Bolan in his prime rush of “Ducky Daffy,” plus the most fun break up song you’re likely to hear this year as Ezra Furman joins Houghton on the punk glam stomp of “I’m Glad That We Broke Up.” Shirley Manson of Garbage also pops up on the rumbling “Medicated,” whilst Andy Bell of Ride adds some suitably anthemic guitars on “All the Way.” All in all, it’s a hugely uplifting celebratory album with whip-smart lyrics allied to some genuinely exuberant scuzzy garage wig-outs.

Of course, there’s more to Houghton than wig-outs (she’s also an incredibly talented artist and animator). She’s successfully navigated a number of stylistic shifts in her career, beginning with the esoteric chamber-folk she produced with The Hooves of Destiny, but Homecoming is an extremely apt title as it sees Houghton employing a style that fits her perfectly. However she’s a relentlessly curious artist and as such she’s unlikely to stick with just one genre for the long haul, but whichever road she travels next you can guarantee the results will be dazzling and inventive. Indeed her press notes suggest the next album could be “happy hardcore.” She may well be joking, but then again, if anybody could pull it off it’s Houghton. (www.dublonde.co.uk)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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