Review: Blushing

Tether/Weak (Kanine)

With last year's Possessions deservedly shifting shoegazers Blushing from local indie rock heroes to buzzing risers of the international underground scene, their release cycle turns to the inevitable – and welcome – reissue of their back catalog. While the band's 2019 debut album remains frustratingly unavailable outside of the digital realm, the double married couples' current label Kanine has instead re-released the group's two early EPs as a colored vinyl twofer. Originally self-released in 2016, Tether showcases the dreamier side of Blushing's persona. On "Mess," "Why Can't We?" and the title track, guitarists Michelle Soto and Noe Carmona spin diaphanous waves of jangly shimmer, putting bassist Christina Carmona's introvertive voice at the center of the arrangements. "Protect You" adds muscle, as drummer Jake Soto gives his kit a good thrashing and the guitars paint with crunge. Blushing expands their reach further on 2018's Weak – where the eponymous opening cut strikes just the right balance of ear caress and speaker damage, accompanying one of their poppiest melodies to date. "Hidden Places" and "Bound" add a sense of anthemic determination to the arsenal, while "Love You Twice" and the accurately titled "Bliss" mix all their colors on one palette and come up Monet. Moving from the only slightly tentative Tether to the unobtrusively confident Weak, the band constitutes a traditionalist but superbly crafted shoegaze aesthetic, which it's been honing diligently ever since. Proof that Blushing's vision was intact from the start, just waiting for the world to catch up.

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