Interview: Blouse

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From the confines of a warehouse space, the trio of Charlie Hilton, Patrick Adams & Jacob Portrait (who has worked with the likes of Starfucker & The Dandy Warhols) make up the relatively new Portland based Blouse

February's "Into Black", the bands instantaneously catchy, dark tinged first single, on the ever impressive Captured Tracks label, was followed up by the sunny yet "Shadow". We threw some questions their way about Portland, 'Dream-Pop' and umm, death. Check it out below...

(One For The People) Firstly, can you give us a quick break down of how the group came to be, and also the story behind the name...

(Patrick) Charlie and I met in Elements of 2D Design at Portland State, she had just moved from L.A and was looking for a project. I had always wanted to be in a band with female vocals. We exchanged music and started writing songs together. Jacob and I had been playing music for years and as soon as I played some of Charlie's stuff for Jacob he offered to start working with us. As far as the name goes, Jacob was walking around downtown Portland when we were all trying to think of a name for the band. He saw the word "Blouses" stuck up all ghetto style on a dry cleaners window.

"I wrote the song ("Shadow") after having reoccurring dreams about death. In the dreams, dying always felt kind of sparkly and wonderful"
- Charlie Hilton, Blouse

(1FTP) Musically, what was the initially goal for the three of you when starting the project?
(Patrick) The initial goal was to blend Charlie's vocals and songs with Jacob's and my music and more specially Jacob's production. We initially were really excited by the prospect of having a band that sounded like slow-core, dream-pop from the late 80's mixed with art-rock of the late 60's, and even a twinge of 90's grunge too.

(1FTP) Portland seems to spawn great band after great band. What is it about the City?
(Jacob) It's the weather! :)

(1FTP) So, in a number of reviews it seems people have a slight problem describing your sound. "Dream-pop", 'hazy 80's pop' & 'new wave' are just a few. How would you describe it? And is there any adjectives you would like people to stay clear of? 

(Jacob) We're OK with whatever comes. We are going to weave our way through lots of different sounds and songs as we get to spend more time hanging out and playing music. It's kinda fun to hear what people think we're playing at home on our record players.

(1FTP) Lets talk new single. I read that "Shadow" is 'a song about death, disguised in a veil of summer' What's the reason behind making a song that way and not sticking to the more conventional style?

(Charlie) The paradox seemed appropriate. I wrote the song after having reoccurring dreams. In the dreams, dying always felt kind of sparkly and wonderful. Somehow the paradox seemed appropriate and the song turned out that way too.

(Jacob) There can only be one "Nothing Compares 2 U!" We also really wanted to make a song for when the ball drops at New Years.

(1FTP) And finally, besides the tracks that we've heard, what should be expected from your full length offering?

(Patrick) We really structured the first four songs we released as singles and b-sides. The album has some less structured material on it, as well as songs inspired by different genres of music. We're hoping to make a record that you listen to the whole way through.

Watch the Wooden Lens made video for "Into Black" below.