Blushing: Possessions (Kanine) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Austin-based four-piece Blushing return with their second album, Possessions, following their well-received 2019-released eponymous debut. It’s an album that deftly crystallizes the band’s expansive sound and showcases their full potential, it’s s also a beautiful modern take on shoegaze and dream pop. Whilst the band’s influences (Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Ride) aren’t hard to spot, Blushing certainly stamp their own identity on an album bursting with tender beauty and swirling noise.

The band share a unique bond in the sense that they are comprised of two couples—Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals) and Jacob Soto (drums) and Christina Carmona (vocals, bass) and Noe Carmona (guitar). They began work on the album pre-pandemic in 2019 with engineer and producer Elliott Frazier of Ringo Deathstarr. There’s sometimes a danger that albums in the shoegaze genre can become a little one-paced and those at the more ethereal end of the spectrum can find their songs drifting off into the void like dandelion seeds being dispersed in the wind. But that’s not the case with Blushing who know how to mix things up, when to change pace, sometimes mid-song à la Throwing Muses, and when to crank the volume up. And that’s all adroitly encapsulated in the hypnotic album opener “Bed,” which hooks the listener in from the get-go with its throbbing bass line as sublime vocal melodies give way to crushing guitars and propulsive percussion. Previous single “Sour Punch,” which was apparently an attempt to write a title track to an imaginary ’90s teen rom-com after Noe Carmona had watched Clueless, reveals the band’s pop sensibilities. It’s a track that has as much in common with the spikey pop thrash of Belly as it does with Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.

Blushing have made no secret of their love for 4AD’s UK shoegaze legends Lush. Having previously covered Lush’s “Out of Control” on Lovelife, A Homage to Lush for The Blog That Celebrates Itself Records, they managed to talk former Lush singer Miki Berenyi (now of Piroshka) into appearing on the bittersweet “Blame.” Bereyni recently told me how she came to be involved. “They sent me a couple of potential tracks in April 2020, which was perfect timing really since not only had Piroshka finished recording but, obviously, we were into deep lockdown so most of the time I was just doing jigsaw puzzles, baking bread and hunting for toilet rolls in the local grocery shops,” Berenyi said. “They are incredibly sweet and friendly people and they really charmed me with their approach. Initially, they were suggesting I sing the lead part, but I opted instead for a backing vocal as it gave me a little leeway to be more creative and I felt the existing vocal was already lovely and I didn’t want to fuck with the overall character of the band.”

Elsewhere, the majestic “Surround (With Love)” begins slowly before exploding into life with a rush of guitars that recalls early Ride. And talking of Ride, the band also reached out to Mark Gardiner to see if he’d fancy remixing previous single “The Fires.” He responded, not only expressing his excitement to be asked to mix the track, but was also more than happy to finalize the record and master all of the tracks as well. The result is a towering album of sublime beauty and power, and one that will appeal to not only lovers of the beautiful noise and distortion that shoegaze can deliver, but also to fans of elegantly crafted bittersweet indie pop. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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