First review of 2013! Woo! Let's kick the year off with something nice.
White Blush is the solo dreampop/ shoegaze project from LA based singer/ music producer Carol Rhyu. Her debut self-titled EP came out in November of last year, and it definitely follows the aural footsteps of artists like Grimes and Laurel Halo. Loads of reverby, spacey vocals, droning synth, and tons of atmosphere.
White Blush leans more to the darker side (as most other releases in this style do), keeping a sort of eerie tone throughout its six tracks. Carol's voice for the most part stays pretty soft, with large sweeping aaaaahhhhhs and oooooooooohhhs taking up most of the space. It sounds vulnerable, haunting and ethereal, which when matched with the harder beats and electronics of tracks like "True Luv" and "Jolene" makes for a beautiful contrast. Things change up vocally in the middle of the EP with the track "Wait", where even though the vocals are much more powerfully delivered, they still hold a fragile air to them. Paired with some male vocals courtesy of Eric Acosta, "Wait" hits levels of tear-jerking that not many other dreampop songs can reach.
Even though the longest song on the EP, "808 Myst" is an instrumental track, I feel like the vocals are the main focus of the record. "808 Myst" sounds like it could be a track off of some Halloween themed movie. Maybe if The Nightmare Before Christmas had an electronic remix to its soundtrack, it'd sound like this song. That being said, the instrumentation on White Blush is nothing to scoff at. Relatively simple in composition, the tracks that need to drive the song do indeed push that song forwards and in the the more minimalist tracks like "Wait" let the vocals grab the reigns and lead the song along. Again, the nice contrasts between soft tracks and intense vocals or vice versa are really what White Blush is all about to me. It's music meant to engulf and envelop. Something to let you just sit and think introspectively.
Bomb-Ass Tracks: True Luv, Jolene, 808 Myst
On a Playlist With: Grimes, Laurel Halo, Sleep Party People
White Blush's self-titled debut is a dreampop album for fans of dreampop, shoegaze, experimental or alternative electronic music or anything similar. If you aren't a fan of the style, I'm sure White Blush will have its moments for you, but I don't think it will transform you into a fan. Other than that, there's really not too much else to say about the EP. It's dark, dreamy, and completely engulfing. A great first release by White Blush. I'll definitely keep my eye out for anything else she decides to release in the future.
You can check out White Blush on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Facebook.
That's all for now, folks!