Old souls Cari Rae and Jordy Asher aka BLONDS recently migrated from the sunny shores of Florida to the seedy streets of New York City. Far from home and presumably without the guidance of a yellow brick road, the two skipped the faux-soul searching journey and made immediately for the gilded studio of production wizard Nicholas Vernhes, where the three clicked their collective heels thrice and “created magic” if their press release is to be believed.
As a couple the two attract the obvious comparisons to Sinatra and Hazlewood, Sonny and Cher etc. Boy-girl duos always have that added pull and their story, whilst charmingly modest and engaging, is typical. He is the driving force and she is the voice, but their affection and gentle collaboration doesn’t appear to be staged and adds to the appeal of their music.
The album, playfully entitled The Bad Ones is on the surface brilliantly put together. Rae’s voice, whilst not technically anything out of the ordinary, has a seductive, melancholy quality; think Florence Welch without her range. Songs such as “Heartstrings” and “Amen” call to mind a dimly lit lounge, a solitary singer crooning in to a Shure 55 as indifferent businessmen slouch in their chairs, sipping their fifth drink. Songs such as “Mr E” and “Falling”, whilst catchy, demonstrate their sometimes repetitive, ill-fitting lyrical style. The surface glamour of the songs lack real depth, lines such as “from loose lips sinking ships” seem forced and designed to cater to the imitation vintage crowd. That isn’t to say there isn’t something there for the more discerning listener; the song “Gospel Kid”, the only song on the album not performed by Rae, sits comfortably amongst the old world glamour but clearly stands apart as something out of the ordinary.
Overall the old Hollywood image sits atop an album with solid structure, perfect production and a couple with enough charisma to seduce any listener.
Release: 7th August 2012, Self-release