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Blanche Blanche Blanche

"Rich Man"

[NNA Tapes; 2013]

By ; January 29, 2013 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Brattleboro, VT’s Zach Phillips and Sarah Smith have always struggled in one way or another to keep their music entirely grounded. And as disparaging as that may sound I don’t really mean it as an insult. They’re creating noisy, fucked-pop tunes designed to float away in search of home planets, and most of their recorded catalog to date succeeds at least through that lens. Last year’s Wink With Both Eyes took the low fidelity constructions of early Ariel Pink efforts and turned them into something even more alien. Their dual vocal turns on tracks like “Fireworks” were the lone tether to traditional pop songwriting amidst a sea of dubby keyboard stabs and the distorted distant wails of lead synths.

“Rich Man” sheds some of the fuzziness, in favor of slap bass keyboard presets and waves of new agey synths. Smith takes the lead here, delivering a proper siren performance amidst the chaos of colliding keyboard sounds. There’s something about increasing the fidelity that’s made even more evident the weirdness of Blanche Blanche Blanche’s sound. They’re combing sounds oft ignored by the pop world for their association with cheesiness, but within the context of the band’s oft-alien constructions they work. “Rich Man” is the sound of extraterrestrials trying to piece together exactly what makes a pop song, and even over its two minute run time it has its trying moments, but there’s a beauty in the mess and a beauty that may not take an exactly human form.

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