Charlie Hilton, Jacob Portrait and Patrick Adams were originally inspired to call their band Blouse because of an ad in a dry cleaners, and not long after found themselves signed to Captured Tracks and recording their debut album in a local warehouse. If these intriguing beginnings aren't reason enough to check out this Portland three-piece, then their music definitely is. With moody reverberations and lilting vocals reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins paired with the dream-pop soundscape of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, their eponymous LP (out now) is romantic without being cutesy and nostalgic without being cliche. While '80s-inspired singles like "Into Black" could've totally soundtracked Some Kind of Wonderful back in the day, Blouse as a whole remains firmly grounded in 2011, and we love them for it. The band filled in a few blanks for us below.
1. You call yourselves "Blouse" because..
We saw a sticker on a dry cleaning window that said "Blouses".. In some strange way we thought it was perfect.
2. Do you feel like living in Portland influences the band's sound at all? How so?
Yeah.. a bit. Portland is an amazing place to be a musician. There is definitely a small scene that we have cultivated between friends and the warehouse (where we practice and record).
3. If you had to tell someone about your debut album and they've never heard it before, you'd say....
Fun to listen to with a significant other in the dark.
4. The story behind your song "Into Black" is....
We had recorded the music for the song, but the original lyrics and melody didn't seem right. Charlie locked herself in a closet and wrote new lyrics. Being alone in a closet was pretty intimate. The song is about omnipresence.
5. If you had to create a mixtape for NYLON, what are three songs you'd include?
Tommy James & the Shondelles - "Crimson & Clover"
The Rolling Stones - "Backstreet Girl"
Al Green - "Call Me"