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Trying to describe the Blonde Redhead’s sound to those who haven’t had the pleasure of listening to their musical trajectory over the past fifteen years is a tricky endeavor. In the anatomy of independent rock music, Blonde Redhead is the connective tissue between Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, creating enchanting and occasionally flummoxing soundscapes which equally embrace the noisy and the melodious. Over the course of seven studio LPs, the New York City trio has gradually tempered their more rambunctious early sound in favor of more melodic pastures. The latest evidence of this trend is their upcoming eighth record, Penny Sparkle, which will be released on September 14th by 4AD.
Our first taste of the band’s first new material since 2007′s 23 is “Here Sometimes,” a steely composition set to a kinky drum loop and surprising synthesizer flares. As the track develops, it acquires an increasing depth of layers, packing in keyboard washes, drum machine tracks, and long, loping guitar notes. Kazu Makino sounds heavenly throughout, her voice almost singlehandedly carrying the listener through the song’s slow building first passage and then soaring through the more dense instrumentation of the sections which follow. “Here Sometimes” is poetry as music, filled with resonant emotions and more “feeling” than structure (although it is not lacking for any of the latter). It is also one of the most accessible moments in the Blonde Redhead canon, one that will hopefully turn some new listeners on to classic efforts such as 1995′s La Mia Vita Violenta.