blouse

Seemingly fixated with dying storage formats and A Flock Of Seagulls, Portland trio Blouse made a mysteriously nostalgic noise with icy synths and a VHS obsession on 2011’s self-titled debut. To its yaysayers, it was futuristic resurgence that made some deep observation about desiring something impermanent. To everybody else, it was more woozy dream pop to add to the revival, which didn’t wholly satisfy.

Sadly, the latter is still true on sophomore ‘Imperium’. They may have ditched their electronic-heavy setup, making the record entirely with “instruments that don’t plug into the wall”, but this fact is more interesting than the results, which veer between vaguely promising and joy-less. Single ‘No Shelter’ is passable, if the thought of Cate Le Bon trapped down a well is appealing, while ‘1000 Years’ is how Trailer Trash Tracys might sound, should they be unplugged and desperately out of hooks. It’s certainly hallucinogenic, but there’s almost nothing here that’d command you to return.

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