Interview: Blouse Make Music Of The Future

Blouse, signed to Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, are on the up & up. You may already be familiar with them from their critically acclaimed album Imperium, which is a beautiful piece of musical work. I caught up with front singer Charlie Hilton about the origins of the name Blouse, SXSW and what’s coming up. Also they’re performing at SXSW on the following times and locations:

March 12th
Portland Party
The Grackle @ 5:30pm

March 13th
Austin Psych Fest Presents: Levitation
Hotel Vegas @ 9:45pm

I love your name, please tell me it’s name after a woman’s shirt? I don’t know any other meanings of the word Blouse.

You’re right! It’s always been one of my favorite garments. While we were recording our first songs, one of the guys in the band saw a sign that said BLOUSE on a dry cleaners window and was like, yes that’s it. Then we were Blouse. We considered spelling it with a W like this “blowse” but we looked it up found out it meant “a brash red-faced woman.”

The name Blouse sets an appropriate context for your music, like a whimsical, fun, of another time- past or future, would you agree with this? Or is it incidental that it’s happened like this?

Yeah I would agree. I think all the connotations of blouse are appropriate for us. I especially like to think about sexy librarians.

I’m typically a rap/r&b music listener , I listened to your album Imperium the whole way and really enjoyed it. It’s very accessible, and inviting socially to those who aren’t immediately drawn to this style, is that something you’ve noticed or set out to do?

Thank you. Yeah, we’ve noticed that all kinds of people are drawn to this record, which is really cool. A lot of people have said that they play it when they’re working out, which is not something I expected but oddly flattering.

Talking of style and genre, how would you classify your music? Or is classifying music dying?

Ah, I’m so bad at that, so I usually like to leave it to the journalists. What I’ve heard most often is dream pop.

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

You’re performing at SXSW What is exactly happening down there and why do you think it’s important for musicians?

Haha, what exactly is happening there is a good question. It seems like people don’t know anymore. Last time we were there we played 8 shows and lost thousands of dollars and we were pretty stressed the whole time because we couldn’t figure our how to move our gear around. But I think if bands are strategic, some good things can come out of it. It’s not really my area of expertise.

What music do you like listening to?
Oh, all kinds, mostly older stuff. But lately I’ve been loving Anika’s self titled record. It’s produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead. I really like that’s it’s not genre specific. It’s reminds me of so many things.

Who have you yet to see live that you’d die to see?
Jonathan Richman

Who would you folks love to collab with?
David Bowie, I mean, if it’s a dream.

Where would be your dream concert?
I’ve always wanted to play in Poland. I’m mostly polish, so are some of the other guys in the band. I have this feeling that I would feel wonderful there.

What’s coming for you guys this year?
We’re finishing this tour with the Dum Dum Girls in April, then we’re not sure. I’d love to work on some writing. We’re pretty open at this point.

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

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