Release Date: Oct 1, 2013
Record label: Kanine Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Indie Electronic
The Blow came close to the zenith of DIY pop perfection in 2006 with ‘Paper Television’. One album and one year later, singer and songwriter Khaela Maricich’s first mate Jona Bechtolt jumped ship to focus on Yacht. Now, with Melissa Dyne by her side, Maricich returns. And Dyne’s rudimentary instrumentation is spacious enough to give due attention to her singer’s witty lyrics (“Since I got jumped by The Girl Of The Month Club/I ascended from dumper to dumper” on ‘I Tell Myself Everything’).
Khaela Maricich’s R & B and electro-pop project The Blow now includes the production help of Melissa Dyne after former knob-twiddler Jona Bechtolt (YACHT) left in 2007. The New York–via-Portland artists eschew the lo-fi samples and skewed melodies for a funkier sound dissociated from the karaoke-esque pastiche heard on 2006’s Paper Television. The self-titled album is Maricich’s wobbly reboot after a seven-year absence, and if nothing else, she’s certainly learned the power of the bass.
It's difficult, if not totally impossible at this point, to pry Khaela Maricich from the clutches of 2006, where we last left her minimal pop project with the LP Paper Television. That Maricich proclaims, "We invented love" on "Make It Up", the opening track of the project's new eponymous album, isn't entirely hyperbole; the Blow, comprised of Maricich and collaborator Jona Bechtolt of YACHT from 2004 until the latter's exit and visual artist Melissa Dyne's entrance in 2007, have done their best to capture a certain, adorable shade of affection (see: the relative ubiquity of "Parentheses"). At that moment—only seven years ago, but it feels like a generation in Blow time—the project proved itself a master of a petite, wittily articulate style almost all its own, establishing a four-years-in-the-making identity that, wherever or whenever you heard it, fastened itself to a piece of your life that you may or may not be inclined to revisit just yet.
Seven years between albums is the kind of gap that can make people forget why they liked a band in the first place, but Paper Television was such a bold indie pop statement that it lingered in the memories of the Blow's fans. The project's self-titled album is the first with Melissa Dyne, who began working with Blow founder Khaela Maricich not long after she finished her Paper Television commitments. The Blow arrives after a long wait, a new collaboration, and a new home base (Brooklyn), yet it picks up very close to where Maricich's last album left off.
Punchy and direct, "Make It Up" starts off The Blow's self-titled album brightly, with the kind of gusto that made 2006's Paper Television gobs and gobs of fun. Glitchy samples, a chorus full of joyful harmonies, and an uptempo beat make for an infectious pop masterpiece..
“Keep choosing me/ I’ll keep choosing you/ You know that you could kill our love/ And so could I,” Khaela Maricich bemoans over the trip-hop leaning creep of “Not Dead Yet”. Written and recorded with girlfriend Melissa Dyne, the gloomy serenade offers a candid look at a tumultuous relationship, and landing at the commencement of fall, is mixed-filling fodder for rescuing sputtering summer romances. Now seven years removed from the acclaimed Paper Television (which featured Jona Bechtolt of YACHT), the tone of The Blow’s new self-titled LP trades club-ready exuberance for a sobering dose of mature reflection.
One-time Microphones member, Khaela Maricich, is a performer, but not a performer in the most base sense. Yes, she stands around a stage with a mic. But once injected with the energy of a crowd, she can transform it into an act that is both humorous, sharply critical and wildly entertaining. Such is The Blow, her decade-long solo project.
Like grinning babies, like stringy taffy, like pink sunsets — it’s hard to disagree with Haim. The Los Angeles sister trio — Este, Danielle and Alana Haim — is gloriously synthetic, ruthlessly triggering familiar pleasure centers developed three decades ago. There’s the slightly sinister ….