CALIFORNIA, LOVE- BLEACHED
Environment and feeling. You can fall in love with a person and you can fall in love with a city and if you fall in love in that city sometimes either can be the refuge; “this town/person saved my life.” So there is falling in love and there is the dissolution of that love and there is the city that reminds of that love or nurtures you as you get past that love; the places you once kissed, the restaurant you frequented, the park you made out in, the beautiful things and the ugly things, like that time we broke up at that movie theater and when I saw you with him/her at that party in that neighborhood. You know, love. Bleached knows, they made a great record about it, and it’s called “Welcome the Worms.”
“I feel like with our last record I was writing a lot about relationships and heartbreak and trying to understand that side of life and with this record I realized I was using the relationships, and the pain from them and the good from them, to deal with my own life,” notes guitarist/singer Jennifer Calvin “I was trying to dig deeper into myself, but realized that relationships and falling in love is a part of life but not as much of life as I was making it to be and focusing on myself, the lessons I was learning from those relationships and not trying to cure my depression with those relationships and then being in California, I feel like I’m in a relationship with California itself, or Los Angeles, and so that was a big theme for me too, you know, singing about all that, because a lot of times if I’m depressed about something or having a fight with someone or just trying to figure something out, I will drive to Mulholland Drive and look at the city of LA and it just puts you in a place where you are just one person in a city of however many million people…just realizing your problems aren’t as big as you think they are, everyone has their own story and just trying to embrace what happens in life.”
Jennifer along with sister Jen and bassist Micayla Grace make up the band Bleached, a power pop punk rock, or just in the simplest terms, good band that embody the spirit of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, however that happens to come. “Welcome the Worms” (Dead Oceans) is their second album. It is all that a second album should be: tighter, bigger, and grander in statement and sound. However, it is not as if they was much broken to fix, the songs were already fantastic, the songwriting was already solid, but it needed to represent the progression of the band and more of a solidification of a sound more than a change or left turn.
“I feel like we know our sound and are used to it, and it’s kinda like how the Beach Boys always had their sound, or like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, so once you find your sound you just sort of stay with it.” Jessie adds “I know that we’re kind of like keeping the sound but maybe the recording is done and it has a little bit better quality, or we get better with our instruments so we grow a little bit but we still keep that same style”
And style is a thing. There were people who loved Rumours that may have hated Tusk (how could you) or were one of those people who they lost with Kid A. Then ofcourse there is also this awesome thing called a budget, like when you aren’t skipping rent to pay for a drum mike, but like someone is paying for a studio with good drum mikes, it happens. Or maybe you make it sound like shit as a sound aesthetic, which is also a thing.
“I do agree that bands will record lo fi, including ourselves, because of a budget” notes Jessie “and also because of like DIY, ‘We’re gonna use our friends 8 track cassete tape player to record our first 7 inch,’ and with this record the producer Joe Chicarelli (The Strokes, Morrisey) he was just like you have such good melodies and you have a bigger budget so I think we should make this record sound scary because you want lose those catchy melodies underneath that big scary sound, so I think like choosing a really good producer having a budget and record at Sunset Sound and us wanting to improve from our last record, I think it’s just natural to put a little more production into it.”
The album begins with “Keep On Keepin’ On” a great sentiment, it also begins the heartbreak, but somewhere around the wonderful “Wednesday Night Melody” the sentiment starts to change, “Chemical Air” enters where you’re “driving around California trying chase the shadows down,” but by “Sour Candy” it’s no longer about love it’s about finding a reason, looking past the disappointments, the something more, the air cleanses, the scene fades into new possibility, maybe it wasn’t it, “I’m All Over The Place (Mystic Mama)” is the realization, the long look in the mirror, I am, to conclude with “Hollywood, We Did It All Wrong” the full circle, the triumphant conclusion, the credits roll, the car rolls off into the sunset, will it change or stay the same, who knows, we’re here and alive and all that matters is that something matters.
This is a good time album though, it’s big and bright, the light is never drowned, and in listening to the album one main idea is that this will sound great live.
“One thing we did do with this record that we hadn’t done before is record live, so we had Jessie on guitar, me (Jen) on guitar, Mckayla on bass and our drummer and we all recorded the songs live and on previous records, we would record just drum and bass ans we’d overdub the guitar part, and then the other guitar part, and that (playing live) was a big thing the producer wanted to do because he was like we need to get that live sound because so many classic rock records were recorded that way and you capture this magic doing it live.”
And of course the band was just in Texas at SXSW where they vetted the songs for the first time.
“While we recording and doing that I wasn’t thinking about the live show at all, I just knew that the live show would come naturally, and now after doing SXSW and doing 9 shows in 5 days, just like playing the songs now, I trusted it would come naturally and it totally did, because that is the one thing I live for everyday is the show that we get to play with these songs, because they’re so fun to play.”
BLEACHED PLAY AT WALTER’S DOWNTOWN (1120 Naylor Street 77002) on TUESDAY APRIL 5th.