Song of the Day: Blouse - Imperium

photo by Beth Crook

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song is “Imperium” by Blouse from their 2013 album Imperium on Captured Tracks.

Blouse – Imperium (MP3)

For their second full-length release, the members of Blouse made a big decision: do away with the instruments prominently featured on their first record, instruments that “plug into the wall”, and bring into the fold real guitars, cellos and standard kits. Gone now are the drum machines and synths, an idea enforced by band member and producer Jacob Portrait. The Portland trio also recorded their album in a studio nearby a construction site, the energy of which, they say, most likely aided their album’s sound, bringing in a heightened sense of urgency and strength to the new LP.

On “Imperium”, this is all evident. The song, which begins with a ominous bass line, seems to have the sounds of drills, jackhammers and other machinery sprinkled in from the beginning. Likely these are tricky guitar sounds intermixed with acoustics, drums and the light, dreamy sound of Charlie Hilton’s voice. The feel of being on site with a hard hat, watching the band perform in scaffolding, is unmistakable though. Caution: band at work!

While Blouse does not have any U.S. tour dates scheduled, they have a number of December European gigs planned, from France to Switzerland to Greece. Check their Facebook page for future updates. In the mean time, you can watch their video for “Roses“ from their first LP, BLOUSE, here:

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