Possessions by Blushing

Release date: February 18, 2022
Label: Kanine Records

Austin-based Blushing features two husband and wife duos: Michelle Soto (guitar, vocals), Jacob Soto (drums), Christina Carmona (vocals, bass), and Noe Carmona (guitar). The band have released two EPs and their debut full length, and now their second full length Possessions. They entered the studio just before Covid-19 hit with engineer and producer Elliot Frazier of Ringo Deathstarr. The studio provided a sanctuary of sorts as Possessions came together. It explored new depths and a small shift in their sound, both heavier and lighter in different ways. The band expressed a list of desires during lockdown, and one item was working with Miki Berenyi of Lush, who contributes vocals to the pensive song ‘Blame’. They also asked Mark Gardener of Ride to remix the track ‘The Fires’, and he ended up mastering the album for them.

Opening track ‘Bed’ is a downtempo slice of dream pop, with bass and drums mixed way up front. And may I say how fabulous this record sounds? I love the way the energy ramps up to some lovely guitar figures. ‘Sour Punch’ reveals an overt Lush influence, and what a pretty song this is. Very pleasing to these ears. The aforementioned ‘Blame’ sounds nothing like Lush, despite having Miki’s eerie vocal work in the backdrop. ‘Ours’ is another favorite, its waves of velvety sound rippling out to tickle your ears. ‘Surround (With Love)’ is the best track here, in my opinion. It starts off as dreamy slowcore and suddenly rockets into orbit and completely shreds! I would be hard pressed to say who this reminds me of, but it’s a spectrum of greatness.

‘Gel’ takes on a Slowdive mien, with a grandeur and graceful majesty. ‘The Fires’ is atmospheric and beautiful shoegaze, wonderfully remixed by sound architect Mark Gardener. It sounds not even remotely like Ride! The title track ‘Possessions’ is just wonderful, with a massive hook that hits you straight in the sonic sweet spot. ‘Lost Cat’ has a somewhat familiar melody, but it’s not derivative. And it changes gear much as ‘Surround (With Love)’ does. Nice work! ‘How It Ends’ is in fact the end of the record, and it has a really swell blissed out guitar sound. Definitely swoonworthy! All fans of shoegaze, dream pop, and psych should pick up this release. It is a sonic delight for the senses!

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