Release Date: May 10, 2019
Record label: Barsuk
Darkness is always bubbling beneath Charly Bliss. On their 2017 debut Guppy, the Brooklyn band--singer and guitarist Eva Hendricks, her brother and drummer Sam, guitarist Spencer Fox, and bassist Dan Shure--offered a bundle of off-kilter confessionals that were at once sneering and vulnerable. Over blasts of power pop, Hendricks celebrated the death of a lover's beloved pet, gazed at a boyfriend's new partner like "softcore porn," and gleefully admitted that her conscience was "fucked." The effect was buoyant and campy, an unapologetically complex portrait of femininity.
The follow-up to their 2017 debut album, Young Enough leaves behind some of the grungier corners of Guppy while doubling down on caffeinated alt-rock anthems. That's to say they don't abandon distortion and animated rock drums, but prominent synths and a more extroverted and aerodynamic front land a little closer to No Doubt than the Breeders while remaining on that continuum. Following albums with acts including Morrissey and the Front Bottoms, Joe Chiccarelli produced the record.
The quartet--vocalist and guitarist Eva Hendricks, guitarist Spencer Fox, bassist Dan Shure, and drummer Sam Hendricks--have largely traded the '90s flannel bubble-grunge of their fun debut, 2017's Guppy, for '80s pastel-covered new wave. In other words: Guppy was a rock album that happened to have sharp pop hooks; Young Enough is a pop album that just happens to rock. And to be clear, the band still rocks out, as on "Blown To Bits," the arena-ready opener, and "Under You," the track closest to Guppy's sound.
With 2017's debut album, Guppy, boasting indie disco floor-filler "Ruby," New York City's Charly Bliss reintroduced the pop tunes to post-grunge with great and widely praised effect. A brief and brisk album, bristling with scratchy guitar and thundering drum parts, it introduced the world to Eva Hendricks' honeyed vocals and contrastingly caustic worldview. On Young Enough, a lengthier, more polished record, the pop levels are peaking while the detuned guitars provide more of a supporting role to the glistening production, layered synths, and Hendricks' iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove vocal intonations.
Photo by Ebru Yildiz Young Enough by Charly Bliss Charly Bliss galloped out of Brooklyn with the infectious exuberance of their much admired 2017 debut Guppy, riding a wave of hooky guitar songs and Eva Hendricks' breathy rasp. On closer listening, their effervescent songs harbor an edge that comes to the fore on follow up Young Enough. The band — Eva on voice, guitar and keyboards, her brother Sam on drums and keyboards, Spencer Fox on guitar and bass player Dan Shure — embrace a bigger, darker sound that befits the subject matter of the key songs on the album.