David Garrick
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BLSHS Return With Darker Sound on New EP

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BLSHS. Photo: Arturo Olmos

 

The hardest part of being in a band is the waiting.  When you’re in a band, you wait for load in, you wait to perform, you wait for your merchandise to arrive, you wait for your album to be ready to released.  Most of the general public doesn’t know that for most bands, when new material gets released, there’s a really good chance that the artist has played the tracks out enough to almost be tired of them already.  That said, that isn’t the case for Houston’s BLSHS.  They’ve performed sporadic sets over the last year while they’ve focused intently on finishing up what might ultimately become two releases.  The first of those two, found exclusively here, is the Hold On EP that finds the band taking a darker, more intense sound that they did in the past.  Free Press Houston was lucky enough to get the chance to debut the EP exclusively in its entirety, while getting to watch the band grow and take these tracks into a new and more adult direction.

 

 

The six-song release opens with the darker and more progressive sounding “Savior,” which immediately shows how far the group has come since their first EP, Abstract Desires, released in 2014.  The use of ethereal synths, a more footwork-based rhythm and future beats signals that this is not the BLSHS you remember.  Michelle Miears’ vocals lay atop the track while her intense range pierces the song when needed without deterring from the track’s overall power.  The group teeters closer to their past on the following track “In And Out,” but never really goes the route of synth pop.  Instead, the song explores production options they haven’t employed in the past, while still keeping their core sound together.  The often chopped vocals bring a whole new depth to the group’s already catchy sound.  They keep things on the dark and mysterious side on the third song, “Before You Miss Me,” where the use of multiple vocal tracks adds a scope that exhibits the groups progressiveness.  The darkwave synths add a whole new element to the group’s sound, while the dissonant beats pull you in with each passing progression.

 

Though most of these songs stand out on the release, “Clarity” creates a sound that I haven’t really heard anywhere else before.  The spacey synths that blend with the PC Music themed beats and Miears haunting vocals generate a sound that exists in its own universe.  The world the group creates is definitely one that you want to hear more from as the track utilizes multiple production methods while never sounding pieced together.  The hints of techno and early EDM peppering the song make it the most progressive of the six.  They follow it up with the stimulating house and tropical mixture of “Temporary Love.”  If you hadn’t fallen in love with everything on the EP prior to this track, then the varying soundscapes they utilize here should easily make you an immediate fan.  Things get closed off with the deeper, more progressive sounds of the titular track, “Hold On.”  The group draws on a mix of their past and present sounds to craft a track that’s the closest resemblance to saying “goodbye” to their past while engaging with their future.  

 

The entire EP, found exclusively here, finds the group experimenting with multiple sounds to create a world where their sound only exists.  While some of the tracks were co-produced by the band and A$AP P on the Boards, the tracks entirely produced by BLSHS are the ones that really show of how far the group has come since their debut.  Hold On, the last work done by the group as a three-piece, signals a change in direction before they soldier on as a duo or even something else entirely.  This EP shows that you definitely shouldn’t count the group out and should actually look out for them even more. You can catch their next live show August 12 at Notsuoh.