Blushing is a new dream pop group with alternative rock references from Austin Texas. They kindly accepted to answer the questions below for Last Day Deaf and throw some more light in their short–term existence. The band consists of two couples. A friendship between two females was the start point of this very interesting music project. In their sound multiple different music styles blend ideally together. Blushing have released one EP ‘Tether’ produced by Philip Odom, owner of Bad Wolf Recordings.
Hello once again from Last Day Deaf. Primarily, would you like to introduce yourself? Who are the members of the dream pop outfit Blushing and the contribution of its member?
Blushing is Christina Carmona on lead vocals and bass, Michelle Soto on guitar and backup vocals, Noe Carmona on guitar and backup vocals and Jake Soto on drums.
How and when did you meet? What was it that made you to join your music forces, to start working together and eventually to form Blushing?
Jake: I have known Noe for about 17 years, growing up in El Paso. We became buds playing music in EP. He was in a power pop band, I was in a hardcore band for many years so would play a bunch of shows together and hang out, and drink Zimas. We all eventually moved to Austin, where he met Christina and the rest is history.
Michelle: I had been writing songs in my spare time and decided I wanted to get more serious about actually playing them. I immediately thought of Christina. I knew she had an amazing voice and that we shared similar music taste so around the summer of 2015 I reached out and propositioned the idea of just jamming together. She grabbed a bass, we asked Noe to get on drums and suddenly we were a band. We eventually brought Jake on board to take over drums so Noe could play lead guitar and that’s when the Blushing sound really started to form.
Two couples one band how does it feel like working together in this music project? Does it make it easier to communicate, collaborate and blend your music creativity? Are there any drawbacks?
Michelle: I feel it makes collaboration easier. Volumes can be spoken with just a glance! A huge part of any band is communication. Jake and I have been married 5 years, if there is something I need to say I can just say it, and vice versa. Doesn’t mean we will always agree but at least we are talking it out. Drawbacks? One car, twice the gear.
Jake: It can make things easier. The best thing about playing music with people who collectively listen to everything under the sun is that there is no shortage of ideas for parts that stem from a bunch of totally different genres. I think that comes out in most, if not all of our songs.
Christina: Sometimes collaboration can be frustrating because it’s hard to verbally articulate an idea you’re hearing in your head. The nice thing with us is that we aren’t afraid to be vulnerable with each other. This makes for a very creatively nurturing environment.
Your sound so far seems to have many different influences blending together. Which are your music influences in common? How do you manage to blend all these different sounds?
Michelle: All of us come from different musical backgrounds and have varied preferences. Combining those influences has completely shaped our sound in an interesting and unique way. My musical influences come from the new wave bands I heard growing up like Depeche Mode, Erasure and Anything Box but also the bands I discovered in high school such as The Sundays, Belly, 10,000 Maniacs, Cocteau Twins etc. Christina and I share the most musical preferences; we love a good 80’s dance night. Jake and Noe bring the edge to our music. We will have this ethereal dreamy song and the boys with be like “You know what this needs, this needs a breakdown.” And so you get this super sweet song that just goes off the rails in the best way possible and I really enjoy that.
Jake: I agree, all of those bands from the 80’s and 90’s are our main influences collectively. When writing music we will say “That’s a SUPER Belly-sounding part…”. During that time I will be writing the next part of that same song influenced by bands on my playlists now, like Everytime I Die (metal), Tricot (Japanese math rock) and Alvvays (indie pop). On the other end Noe will mention how he has an idea from a Janet Jackson song he has on heavy rotation… So anything can come out of any song we are writing.
Christina: Both of my parents are music teachers and my brother is a metal head, so as a kid my music preferences landed somewhere in the middle. I was always listening to Nine Inch Nails and Tori Amos. I think that in spite of our different musical backgrounds, the four of us definitely find common ground with bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Cocteau Twins. We each bring our own unique styles to the table and I think that’s really what gives us our sound character.
Eventually why dream pop? What led you to this style of music? As a genre what are your thoughts about the evolution of it? Can it be considered nowadays as a genre of music apart from shoegaze?
Christina: Michelle loves pretty melodies with a good hook and Noe loves beautiful guitar work and playing around with pedals and tones. That’s what shapes our sound. We like to take skeleton song ideas and work on them together, each adding in our ideas and styles- even to each other’s parts. I think it makes for an organic, fluid experience. I’ve never been very good at labeling genres. I still and probably will always think of ‘Loveless’ when someone says shoegaze.
Michelle: I’ve always been a fan of the genre, listening to bands like Lush and The Sundays are huge inspirations when I am writing music. When a melody comes into my head it’s a dream pop melody or when I work out a chord progression it’s often leaning towards a shoegaze sound. It’s the music I like to hear and the music I like to make. The genre of shoegaze has gotten so massive and vague that I think it’s out of necessity that more granular sub-genres have emerged. I still don’t even know what genre we best fit into but if I have to label it then I suppose dream pop is as good as any!
You have shared via your Facebook account that you are recording. How is the work in studio going? What is going to be your next release; An EP, or a full-length? When about is it going to be released?
Michelle: We have wrapped up recording and it was amazing, I absolutely adore being in the studio. We actually just got the first rough tracks back today. I have only listened to them once but I am enamored. We are releasing another EP but this time we will be able to release on vinyl through Austin based record label Austin Town Hall Records which is very exciting. We don’t have a release date set just yet but probably sometime right around the new year.
What about your producer; How was the collaboration with Philip Odom and Bad Wolf Recordings like?
Michelle: I cannot say enough good things about Phillip, and if you check out anyone else that has worked with him you will see the same thing. He’s very good at what he does and he’s just a cool dude. When I went into the recording process for the first time I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I wanted someone that was patient and positive, Phillip is both of those things and I’m at total ease when working with him. He is also a tone magician.
Jake: Phillip is a wizard in the studio.
Christina: Phillip is the best! He has such a great way of communicating and I think that’s the biggest thing. What he says really makes sense and sticks in my head so I can take those ideas away with me from the studio and continue to use them when I play.
Are there any plans for live gigs after you got out of the studio and which are these? Would like to have the opportunity to play in Europe too?
Michelle: We are playing at Barracuda (Austin) on October 26th, along with Everything Fades and Drug Life.
What about the continuous economical and political crisis and the real underground music production and self production in many cases (the one that isn’t supported by the major record labels). Do you think that in any way all this mess and the accumulation of bad feelings made music artists/bands to become more creative and musically productive or not?
Michelle: Speaking for myself I believe not being supported by a major label and having to fund and organize everything ourselves has driven creativity and productivity. You have to work harder which means you take more pride in your accomplishments. You are out there putting in the work, scrapping cash together, emailing people and really hustling for your passion. There is a lot of pride in that when you see someone appreciate what you are doing. When someone comes to a show or buys a copy of the album it feels so much more rewarding knowing how much work went into making it all happen. A lot of people are out here making their own music and doing what they love. I think it just drives us all to do it better, and I see that as a good thing.
Christina: I think that art reflects our own unique perception of what is going on around us and it has become a lot easier for artists to make music, record it and put it up on some kind of platform. Artists are able to accomplish a lot independently these days, which I think is motivating.
Photo credits: Jake Soto (1st one), Jake Villarreal (2nd one)