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- Posted on Dec 19th 2011 5:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"Time machines can be unfortunate when they're in your head," she sings, echoing a warning implicit in the paranoid synth line and anxious dance beat.
Formed last year when Hilton met multi-instrumentalist Patrick Adams at Oregon's Portland State University, where both were studying graphic design, Blouse are among the crop of upstart groups trafficking in warped approximations of New Wave sounds their members are too young to have experienced the first time around.
While Blouse's music is a far cry from feel-good Casio-kitsch-style '80s nostalgia, Hilton takes comfort in the kind of dark and smeary throwback pop her band is helping to propagate.
"There's something safe-feeling about these really simple, memorable '80s-sounding songs," she tells Spinner, citing the Roland JUNO-6 synth as a key ingredient in Blouse's sound. "I personally feel like you listen to music and you want to feel safe, and that's the way it makes me feel."
Adams, who was responsible for bringing Blouse's third member -- producer and Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jacob Portrait -- into the fold, says the key is balancing the bleak with the beautiful and knowing when to rouse listeners from their comfort zones.
"I feel like you want to keep it safe and familiar for just long enough and then right at the last minute throw in something icy cold just to creep people out a little bit," Adams says.
So far, Blouse are creeping everyone out just the right amount. Something of an overnight success, the group has already released a single on indie bastion Sub Pop, and its full-length arrived earlier this month via taste-making Brooklyn label Captured Tracks.
The album was originally slated to come out in the summer, but delays led to a more appropriate release date: Nov. 1, the day after Halloween. Time machines may be unfortunate things, but timing, it seems, is one Blouse's side.
"This just feels like really perfect weather to screw your headphones on and walk through the streets listening to the album," Adams says.