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Blonds – The Bad Ones (Review)

Blonds, The Bad Ones

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

BLONDS consist of Cari Rae and Jordy Asher, a Brooklyn-by-way of Florida boy-girl group who have captured attention across the pond in a big way.

They first burst onto the scene last November with their debut EP Dark Roots and have since been heralded for their transfixing handle on melodrama, which adopts many musical guises from the slow burning and intimate to the infectious and brutal. They are an act waiting to explode on this side of the Atlantic too.

The album gets off to a flyer with Heartstrings, a track that pulls at them with a beautifully hung-dog vocal and a lazy, bluesy guitar that harks back to the classic era of song-writing. It’s quietly mesmerising and broodingly beautiful.

Amen, meanwhile, slow-builds into another majestic song about longing (“some day we’re going to fly away, fly fly away”), layering in the beats, the baroque pop leanings and the sweeping string arrangements. It’s layered, intricate, captivating.

The Bad Ones finds the vocals at their most sultry, complete with bluesy pianos and subtle percussions… it’s a lament for a lost love that holds many cinematic qualities, as well as a laidback vibe that’s utterly great for sitting back and getting lost in.

Former single Run again leans to the cinematic, this time hitting listeners with the sort of bluesy guitar twang that is the hallmark of many a Tarantino offering and born out of classic Morricone. It’s another slow-burning cracker, particularly once the chorus comes to life in truly emphatic fashion and the rousing guitar solo drops.

Admittedly, there are a couple of songs that don’t register as strongly and which prevent the album from making the leap to a full 5-star review. But boy does it come close.

Time is another one of those dreamy, bluesy, yet beat-backed tracks that’s utterly entrancing (and bordering on trip-hop at times), as is the similarly enchanting Falling, which effortlessly seduces with its dreamy, breezy style.

And Magic has a lazy, dream-like quality about it that pretty much encapsulates the way that Blonds disarm their fans with such lovingly drawn compositions.

Locomotion, on the other hand, ends the album with a gutsy bang, showcasing the sound of the duo at their most brutal and, dare I say, Florence + The Machine/Chrissie Hynde like vocally. It begins in soft, stripped back fashion but then hits you with a terrific guitar riff that chugs along in pile-driving fashion. You almost wish there were a couple more like-minded offerings.

But then The Bad Ones is the type of debut that leaves you thirsting for more… as all bad things should (only without the guilt).

Watch the video for Run:

Download picks: Heartstrings, Falling, Time, Amen, The Bad Ones, Locomotion, Run, Magic

Track listing:

  1. Heartstrings
  2. Amen
  3. The Bad Ones
  4. Run
  5. Mr E
  6. Time
  7. Falling
  8. Gospel Kid
  9. Magic
  10. If Only
  11. Locomotion