Blouse is a hazy Portland trio that picked its name out of a dry cleaner’s window and has actively identified as dream pop. But the West Coast threesome’s pillowy, nostalgic abstractions veer between the sweeping histrionics of M83 or breezy gestures of various Scandinavians toward a woozy, romantic restlessness: Pains of Being Pure at Heart birthed by Madchester, Mazzy Star‘s Hope Sandoval in The Breakfast Club, Metric for philosophy majors. “I was in the future yesterday,” confides front-woman Charlie Hilton over pounding synths in “Time Travel,” a standout track that re-imagines H.G. Wells as a Thomas Dolby–era romance novelist.
Featuring Hilton, Patrick Adams, and Jacob Portrait, Blouse crafts ethereal yet driving electronic pop. Hilton, whose aloof vocals give Blouse an otherworldly quality, met Adams in art school during the summer of 2010; after making a few home recordings together, they connected with Portrait and began laying down tracks in his warehouse studio. This version of the group posted some songs on its Bandcamp page, and by early 2011 was signed to the moody Brooklyn-based label Captured Tracks.
That year Blouse also released a slew of singles, including their debut “Into Black” and “Firestarter” in March and the Sub Pop release “Shadow” in May. That November, Blouse’s self-titled debut arrived, along with the singles “Videotapes” and “Time Travel,” and the album was named one of the Outstanding 2011 Albums You Might Have Missed by Amazon.
The video for “Ghost Dream,” off their self titled album, is a surreal virtual reality tour of the ordinary. Uninhabited by anything but ghosts and dreams…