Tag Archives: dirty beaches

Interview: Blouse

By amelia |
Jun 28 2011

Ah the west coast strikes again, enter Portland-based trio Blouse and their oh so well-woven dream pop. Forming less than a year again, the project includes the hushed power of Charlie Hilton’s vocals, Patrick Adams, and Jacob Portrait (who has produced with the likes of The Dandy Warhols, The Mint Chicks, and Starfucker).  The guys (and girl) already have a couple of strong 7″ available via two very sought after labels and a full-length in the works. Blouse won’t be gracing our stage until September 15th (with Unknown Mortal Orchestra!) so in the meantime, Charlie and Patrick were nice enough to answer a few questions about the burgeoning project, enjoy!

For an up and coming band your resume is already pretty unbelievable with 7″s on Captured Tracks AND Sub Pop. Did you get picked up by both labels via your internet presence or live show whispers or what?

We put two songs on Bandcamp at the end of 2010 and the labels contacted us shortly after. We were pretty excited to hear from them, being fans of both labels and having only started the project a few months back. You could say it’s been a magical year.

Your singles seem to be really well organized as far as an A-side B-side flow to them, is that something you work towards? Does your forthcoming full-length follow a similar consistency?

Thanks, we’re glad you feel that way. We definitely wanted each 7″ to make sense as a whole. It’s fun to imagine songs living with other songs, especially while you’re writing them. We hope the full length will be a nice balance of consistency and experiment.

I’ve read you guys met in a university design class, I don’t know if that’s a focus for you but there’s definitely a cohesion to your sound and your visual presence. As artists do you extend the music to other senses or do you not really bother with that?

School is such a huge part of our lives it’s hard to avoid the two being in cohesion. We’ve always talked about designing everything Blouse-related. Really, it just comes down to time. This summer we have been able to focus on the band more because we’re out of school. Finishing the record, playing shows, and designing more visually for the band are our top priorities right now.

There’s a pop music of many ages quality about the tracks you’ve released–traces of influences from the 60′s all the way to the 90′s. Are there any contemporary artists you find inspiring or feel a musical kinship with?

There are definitely bands out there right now that are inspiring us. We’re amazed at what Soft Moon, Dirty Beaches, and Zola Jesus were able do in the last year, just to name a few.

Your recorded singles are really smooth and lush, is that ever difficult to reproduce live? What’s your general set-up?

Yes, it can be. Right now, we’re not defining the group by the live set-up, but we have some friends that will be joining us for shows. In the past we’ve had a drummer and keyboard player to help with the lush.

Thanks guys!

Come catch an awesome show at Glasslands Thursday, September 15th with Unknown Mortal Orchestra // Woven Bones // Blouse // Man/Miracle

Get yr tickets HERE

Dirty Beaches ‘Sweet 17′ Live Video

By amelia |
Apr 19 2011


Thanks to GEMS NYC for the video which was also featured on FILTER Magazine yesterday!

OMG AND Dirty Beaches is returning to Glasslands on Friday, May 13th (easy one to remember) with Psychedelic Horseshit and Pterodactyl

Dirty Beaches Drops LP Today

By amelia |
Mar 29 2011

Dirty Beaches drops his Badlands LP today via Zoo Music, and let me tell you that baby sounds even better on vinyl!

Its a top seller on InSound right now, so get with it and grab a copy HERE

google search #trending

Alex is such a pro at crowd surfing, earlier this month he made it up to the 2nd floor of Glasslands on the fingertips of his adoring fans and let me tell you he is not a small dude– needless to say we’ve invited him back for more!

Dirty Beaches is returning to Glasslands May 13th!

Get yr tix HUUUUUR

Q & A: Dirty Beaches

By amelia |
Mar 1 2011

Dirty Beaches is the project of Alex Hungtai, a dude who has not only amassed an impressive amount of zip codes, but also dabbled in a number of musical incarnations, slinking from his earlier noise experimentation to the scratchy AM radio strains of his most recent effort Badlands (due out March 29th on Zoo Music).

Yeah, sure, lots of musicians play rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia, but Dirty Beaches does it it with an earnest discomfort jammed beneath a chain-rattling sort of swagger–his recordings sound more like the chilly ghost of some ill-fated prom queen than sweet surf rock jams. Alex was nice enough to answer a few questions about his project, revealing an interesting spin on his lo-fi aesthetic and a few poetic words on Montreal and old photographs of his parents.

The transition from the experimental weirdness of HORROR to your melancholy Elvis-pop construct of Badlands is quite a jump.  Was there an outside influence, musician, or inspiration that triggered the changes?

The change didn’t happen right away, I had released a film noir inspired EP called Bird after HORROR, two tapes for Night People, and a handful of split 7″s and tapes following that — so it was a gradual change and progression.

Do you consider the lo-fi aesthetic of Dirty Beaches a necessity or a product of home recording?  How would you change the feeling of your recordings in a fully-loaded studio?

Its definitely a product of home recording and circumstance.  If I could record with a full band in a proper studio with proper instruments and equipment, I would not write the kind of music I write now–it would be very different.  A lot of the conceptual ideas of my sound comes from what equipment I have.  For example, when I first bought my ace tone solid state amp in Montreal ($180!!!!) I was so addicted to the amp spring reverb that I started experimenting with dub elements. From there it went on to other experimentations.

Your covers of Mr. Cash, The Stooges, and Patti Smith are all a) awesome song choices and b) really exciting re-workings–what are some other pieces you’ve considered or would like to cover?

I tried to cover Spiritualized “Broken Heart” once, but it didn’t work out too well so its stashed in the B-sides vault for now.  Perhaps I’ll give it another try someday.

Who are the badass young things in the photographs from your singles? Those pompadours are impressive.

On the True Blue 7″ cover are my parents, and I always love those photos because they give you a glimpse into your parents life before they had you. You see their eyes brimming with a different kind of light, full of optimism and youth.

like father like son

It seems pretty appropriate you live in Montreal–there’s something really nostalgic and melancholy about that city. So many great musicians who understand the whole art of longing pour out of that area. What’s going on up there?

They say in Montreal that the friends you keep in touch with through out the winter time are your real friends.  The winter there is so cold and depressive its not even funny.  A lot of relationships and all those other ships go through some weird existential check in the dead of winter, for better or worst, its maddening in a way.

Dirty Beaches is playing Glasslands Thursday, March 3rd with YellowFever // Widowspeak // Ela Orleans // Dum Dum Girls (DJ Set)

Get yr tickets HERE