Born Blonde album cover

Born Blonde album coverBorn Blonde-What the Desert Taught You
(Moriarty the Cat Records)
DL/CD digipack (limited 500 copies)
Release Date: November 26th

Shoe-gaze, Britpop, Trippy, whatever you want to call it, Chris Hearn seems to feel Born Blonde’s first full-length deserves a bit of your time.

So, I can’t help but notice that a lot of releases that have come across my “desk” as of late have been dubbed “shoe gaze”, that sub-sub-genre of the 90s that seems to have made a bit of resurgence. Why all of a sudden is this happening? I’m not complaining, mind you. I dig what’s going on. I just bring this issue up because there is a bit of a “shoe gaze” thing here with Born Blonde’s debut full length as many other reviewers and interviewers have been pointing out. Sometimes these sub-sub-genres just throw me off. I’ve always liked the “sound” that Born Blonde have, but is it “shoe gaze”? Who comes up with these genre names anyway? And then there is “Britpop”. Is this Britpop? Some say yes. To that I say…okay. But, then I thought Britpop was supposed to be somewhat of an anti-shoe gaze backlash. The enemies have met and blossomed with “What the Desert Taught You”? Interesting development!

This album is a bit of a throwback to the mid-90s, indeed, although honestly to me it doesn’t sound dated. It sounds fresh and new. Maybe that’s because I myself am a decade or so out of date. I will make a few comparisons to, say, Coldplay, or to Duncan Sheik, or maybe The Verve, or Wonder Wall-esque Oasis. There are even a few similarities with Mystery Machine and Cheetah’s, two bands I recently did reviews of, though they are a lot more guitar oriented than Born Blonde.

The first single off of this album is Signs of Fear, and it’s a good way to kick things off, although there are several songs on here that can easily put forth as “singles”. This is a beautiful, brilliant pop song; catchy with nice dreamy instrumentation, nice tempo and feel. It just grabs me and wraps me up in pleasantness!


Are you feeling it? I’m feeling it. Let’s all feel it together, shall we! What’s with that voice as well? It’s so nice and dreamy, yet has that certain strain at times which gives it a bit of a rawer edge. The use of slide guitar works well for me. I like that a quite a lot. Okay, let’s just say I like this song. It’s up there on my list of favourites of the last few months, if not whole year already.

Now for the rest of the album: Yup, for the most part that all checks out as good too. The thing I like about these guys is that they have a hipster kind of thing going on, are sufficiently creative and quirky, yet are accessible, likeable and familiar; like a warm, fuzzy blanket! I don’t know if any band wants to hear that. But, it’s what I feel, man. It’s comforting to listen to, and I appreciate that. In some reviews and interviews, the word “trippy” comes up at times and I would agree with that. Basically, though it’s comfortable and familiar. It’s layered with influences seeming to come from a fairly broad range of places to create some quite nice, interesting sounds and attractive songs.


Several songs on here (Solar, Radio Bliss, I Just Want To Be) have been released already with a variety of mixes. This is Born Blonde’s first full-length and it’s a good one that I believe will probably put them in a good place to capture a wide audience. It’s accessible enough that radio, if they are smart, will snatch it up quick (if they haven’t already. I’m not up on what radio has snatched as of late). And I think it’s sufficiently cool that the indie and hipster kids will dig it as well. If you think too much about what category it’s under, who they sound like, and how you should feel about it you’ll miss the sheer beauty of the well-crafted, well written songs. So just relax, close your eyes (unless you are driving or operating power tools)…and enjoy. PS: I don’t have a desk.

Now, go check them out on the net. Their official site is on tumblr. Of course they are on Facebook and twitter. You can find, download or purchase a ton of their music over on Soundcloud and bandcamp. They have a YouTube page going as well where you will find some really nice videos.

All words by Chris Hearn, more writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.

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Deep in the heart of Canada, on the north shore of frigid Lake Superior, is a town called Thunder Bay. That\'s where I am from. That\'s where I started to write. And that is where I started to discover music. Now, I\'m a married man with two boys. I still love music. I still go to shows. And I still visit Thunder Bay, even though I haven\'t lived there for many years. What will you find on my iPod? You\'ll find lot of Americana, classic country, heavy stuff, punk and plenty of “guilty pleasures”.


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