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Earlier this Fall Blouse released their Sophomore album Imperium and today share the video for second single “A Feeling Like This”. Described by Charlie Hilton as a “

song [that] examines the ephemeral nature of the psychedelic experience” , the surreal video brings to life that experience by director Angus Borsos, who explains “‘I wanted to bring about the feeling (more clearly recognizable when experiencing psychedelics), where, for one brief moment — everything seemingly makes perfect sense.”

“[Charlie Hilton’s] tender yet aloof singing makes the band sound even more like a more rock-oriented version of Broadcast, particularly on the trippy pop of “A Feeling Like This,”
All Music

Stripped down to the basics, this band sounds more liberated than ever.”
Under the Radar

“A Feeling Like This” follows the blissed-out path of its predecessor, riding billowy guitar lines and sultry vocals through a dream-pop haze.”
Spin

the three-piece has created yet another charmingly melodic record”
Filter

They sculpt tracks that span from lovesick dream-pop ballads to danceable post-punk, all done with a classic, made-for-35mm-film visual aesthetic”
Noisey

5th December – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate (UK)
6th December – La Peniche, Lille (France)
7th December – Le Sonic, Lyon (France)
10th December – Bad Bonn, Dudingen (Switzerland)
11th December – Zukunft, Zurich (Switzerland)
12th December – Mame Club, Padova (Italy)
13th December – Bang Bang Club, Graz (Austria)
14th December – Klub Pilot, Prague (Czech Republic)
16th December – Six Dogs, Athens (Greece)

Imperium Tracklisting

1. Imperium
2. Eyesite
3. 1000 Years
4. In a Glass
5. Capote
8. Happy Days
9. Arrested
10. Trust Me

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Evolution is a tricky word when discussing current trends in music, especially when it comes to sophomore albums. The critically lauded BLOUSE, the 2011 debut from the Portland band of the same name was a lush, melodic and dreamy affair spiked with whoozy synths and delicate vocals. For Imperium, their 2nd LP for Captured Tracks, Blouse have shed the synths, done away with drum machines and wrote and recorded with “instruments that don’t plug into the wall,” as enforced by band member/producer Jacob Portrait.

Sonically speaking, that comes through on the LP immediately. Perhaps bolstered by the ongoing construction occurring next to the studio while the record was being made, the sense of force and urgency propelling the record is evident. Patrick Adams’ driving bass and plodding drums in the title track usher in this new guitar-friendlier Blouse; more direct and clearer of vision, but still mysterious and beautiful.

Jacob and Patrick’s Pacific Northwest alt-rock roots (filtered through post-punk and V/U) are a great counterpoint to ex-pat Southern CA transplant Charlie Hilton’s Cohen/Patti/Nico singer/songwriter nature. The dichotomy of those two forces on tracks like “No Shelter” and “1000 Years” are at the core of Imperium. These are delicate songs from the perspective of a valley girl who grew up with gurus and ashrams played by indie lifers on a steady diet of NEU! It makes it all the more understandable to have showers of acoustic guitars and (real, not synthesized) cellos interrupted by fuzz guitar.

But these interruptions aren’t a bad thing, they’re what makes Imperium the great record it is. “In a Feeling Like This” describes it perfectly; it’s a strange place that you’re weirdly familiar with. Warm but also kind of spooky and imposing, you want to stay there for longer than you’re invited. Thankfully, it’s ok to flip it over and listen to it again.

Imperium is out NOW.

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This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.

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