Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 2/27/15 – Blonder
This week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is Blonder, a five piece lo-fi group that just released it’s debut EP, “Yellow”. Although they’ve been around for a couple of years, this is their first release. In just five songs, the band manages to encompass everything that’s cool and fun about alternative rock. The band is just emerging in support of “Yellow”, but that’s not to say you won’t be seeing a lot of them in the near future. To give you a proper introduction, they’ve put out a great record for you to enjoy.
The EP kicks off with the title track, a down-to-earth, super chill song that instantly brings you back to a simpler time in music. It sounds very much like the golden era of 90s alternative, which is by all means welcome to hear in the present day. It’s all of the cool indie feel that you want, without all of the pretentiousness that sometimes comes with it. “Fall Leaves” which follows, is just the opposite. While keeping that same, ultra indie sound, the tempo is kicked up, and you can hear the strain on the vocals, as the band is putting every ounce of energy into the song. This isn’t a one-dimensional band by any means, and they prove it here.
“Brother”, the midway point of the release, is a little bit of a darker song, and much more down-tempo. While starting off with a lingering sound, the band takes things to a much more steady groove as it goes along. With a little bit of a grungy tone to it, it’s just a flat out cool song. There’s really no other way around it. That same vibe is carried over on “Catnip”, with a little bit more of a melodic take on lo-fi. If you can appreciate the songs and albums that defined the 90s alternative scene, this whole EP is definitely for you, but those two songs will especially take you back in a time capsule.
“Yellow” finishes out with “Nicole”, a bouncier, melodic song that rounds out the EP with a bang. Like everything else that precedes it, there’s an aura of cool to it. Throughout the whole thing, Blonder manage to blend the grit of alternative in a previous era and the modern cool of today’s indie pop records. It’s very much like discovering a vinyl EP in a record crate, throwing it on, and being amazed by it. You just get the sense that music is fun listening to this band, and if that’s not the sign of doing something well, I don’t know what is.