Posts Tagged ‘Welcome Back To Milk’

So BJH ditched the hooves, went blonde and hitched her wagon to a brand new edgier sound. Good for her, so it seems. Sold to the fish in the corner on the chorus alone, with it’s epic drum/guitar mash-up, she’s got one hell of a vocal range that wallops a whole range of emotions into orbit. ‘Welcome Back To Milk’ is out now on Mute Records.

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Reinvention is the 2015 thing to do; we’ve got Mumford & Sons kitting out at World Of Leather and pawning their banjos, The Vaccines jacking up on candy pop at Dave Fridmann’s studio and Laura Marling channelling Dire Straits. None of them, however, have attempted quite such a complete and total rebirth as Beth Jeans Houghton, whose reincarnation as Du Blonde spins the Newcastle-born, LA-based singer-songwriter’s look, sound and attitude on its head.

The 25-year-old’s debut album, 2012’s ‘Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose’, cast her as a pop star spawned from the imagination of Phoebe from Friends, an unabashed uber-kook with a band named The Hooves Of Destiny and a penchant for mind-bending pixie pop. To see Beth in her new incarnation, you’d assume Du Blonde killed and ate the old Houghton in a forest, and took the face to wear as a mask. That’s her on the cover under snot green Cali-punk lettering, rocking a bleach-blonde merkin and looking like the hell spawn of Dave Lee Roth. Even the song titles come straight from the cock-rock handbook: ‘Raw Honey’, ‘After The Show’, ‘If You’re Legal’, ‘Mr Hyde’.

The music reflects this new image, bringing in snarling, Runaways-style vocals, raging guitars and thunderous drums, a stall set out neatly by the riotous, Arctic Monkeys-like opening track ‘Black Flag’ and ‘Chips To Go’, which follows it with funk-rock flavour and screaming chorus line: “If love is just a word for us then why did I goddamn let it hold me down?”

Clearly, Houghton’s found fertile ground in connecting with her inner rage monster, but there’s a different side to the album too: anthemic glam rock reminiscent of Bowie’s work with guitarist Mick Ronson. It’s there in spectral power ballad ‘Hunter’ and ‘Five Years’-like ‘After The Show’ and, towards the end of the album, in ‘Mind Is On My Mind’, which Future Islands’ Samuel T Herring guests on, his vocal booming in like a communiqué from deep space. There’s a clear kinship: Future Islands have managed to sneak something out-there into the mainstream; thanks to this strong set, Du Blonde should do the same.

 

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Du Blonde has enlisted the help of Future Islands enigmatic frontman Samuel T. Herring for new single “Mind Is On My Mind”.

The track features on Du Blonde‘s first album as Du Blonde – previously, who went under the name of Beth Jeans Houghton – which is monikered Welcome Back To Milk. Swanning away from the garage-y tones of lead single “Black Flag”, Blonde x Herring spiral towards surf-noir as if composing the theme for a James Bond flick set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Speaking about writing the cut, Blonde said: “I wrote ‘Mind Is On My Mind’ on the back of a motorbike riding down the Pacific Coast Highway in LA and had to remember it all the way from Topanga to Malibu. I was interested at the time in writing songs with no repeating sections, but rather a succession of acts. A couple of months later, Sam and I took a trip out to the desert and came back to LA to make some music. I played him the track and he got in the booth and ad-libbed his lyrics over the instrumentation. He was done in like one or two takes. When I was back in London I’d become obsessed with these Middle Eastern and Greek guitar scales and I added the lead guitar in the outro as a contrast to Sam’s vocals.”

Welcome Back To Milk is released 18th May by Mute Records, check out these UK Dates

June

3 – BRIGHTON GREEN DOOR STORE
4 – LONDON 100 CLUB
5 – LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
6 – BRISTOL LOUISIANA
7 – NOTTINGHAM THE BODEGA
9 – MANCHESTER DEAF INSTITUTE
10 – GLASGOW BROADCAST
11 – NEWCASTLE THE CLUNY

July

24 – THIRSK, DEER SHED FESTIVAL