Blushing - Weak (Austin Town Hall Records)

Austin, Texas dream pop outfit return with excellent second EP

Released Jan 26th, 2018 via Austin Town Hall Records / By Richard Lewis
Blushing - Weak (Austin Town Hall Records) Following their highly promising debut EP Tether, Texan dream/shoegaze architects Blushing return almost exactly a year later with an excellent second helping of beatific melodicism. Issued on 12” and cassette, Weak which like its predecessor is brilliantly housed in a VHS cassette-style package, opens with the title track (video), singer/bassist Christina Carmona’s vocals cutting through the beautiful noise perfectly, harmonised to dazzling effect by guitarist Michelle Soto.

Drawing inspiration from the Cocteau Twins’ Heaven or Las Vegas, Lush’s Gala and The Sundays’ matchless Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, the Austin, Texas natives bring their own spin to velvet soft dream pop. The standout moment of their brief catalogue so far Hidden Places, its chorus of ‘If I can’t wake up in your head’ deliver the band’s strongest hook to date, while a sidewinding succession of unexpected chords sees sticksman Jake Soto earn his stripes guiding the quartet round the changes. Never allowing the atmospherics to overwhelm the actual tunes, the five tracks here keep the songwriting at the heart of the matter.

Bliss is exactly that, a series of slow-motion guitar starbursts, while showcasing how their sound is subtly evolving, Bound provides a rougher edge, its intro suggesting a grunge band through a refracted lens before Noe Carmona’s spiralling guitar lines take control for the coda. Opening with a Kim Deal style bass pulse, Love You Twice shows off Blushing's dynamism, deftly working its way through different time signatures and moods. A confident step forward after their debut, Weak is pretty wonderful, all told, with a third installment hopefully headed down river soon.

Blushing play:

Sat Jan 27, Venus Banquet Hall, Houston, TX (Dreamgaze Festival)
Sat Jan 27, Cheer Up Charlie's, Austin, TX (EP launch show, w/ Ringo Deathstarr)