Having already garnered praise from hometown outlets the Nashville Scene and No Country for New Nashville, as well as airplay on regional tastemaker stations WUTK and WUTC, indie pop outfit Blond Bones are poised to break out on a national scale with their latest LP, Hiding Out.
The record’s shimmering title track sets the tone from the top of the record; equal parts dream-pop and post-punk. The raucous, Strokes-inspired “Cape Fear” is an absolute showstopper of a song that will have hips shaking and heads banging. “Holidays”--the psychedelic, synth-driven lynchpin of the record--showcases a knack for melody well beyond this young band’s years. This is a collection of well-crafted pop tunes that, while awash in a healthy dose of reverb, will find listeners slinking to the dance floor with its undeniable grooves.
Comprised of band leader & guitarist Christian Barnett, bassist Joe Rebrovick and drummer Daniel Ryan, the group was originally conceived as a backing band for ex-guitarist Joey English while living in the flourishing arts community of Knoxville, Tenn. After disliking their initial Americana/folk-leaning output, Barnett, Rebrovick, and Ryan parted ways with English to pursue their own sonic direction.
While Barnett’s songwriting still nods to classic influences ranging from Bob Dylan to Lou Reed, the sonic landscapes of Hiding Out showcase arrangements and production flourishes nodding to modern indie stalwarts the likes Deerhunter or Tame Impala, and moments of virtuosic guitar work reminiscent of Vampire Weekend. That’s not to say this is a tribute record--quite the contrary, in fact--Blond Bones are very much carrying the torch and make these sounds their own.
The band released their debut Sierra EP in January 2018 - given a “four out of four sunglasses-guy emojis” stamp of approval by the Nashville Scene - but they weren’t satisfied with the output. “I’m really glad we did it,” Barnett recalls with a groan, “but we want to put our best foot forward.” He pulled the EP from streaming services and committed to crafting a new LP that captured the Blond Bones vibe more appropriately.
Ironically, the band chose to break out of the Music City’s mold to find their inspiration, tapping Atlanta-based producer Damon Moon (Blair Crimmins, Big Brutus, Sydney Eloise & the Palms) and his Standard Electric Recording Company to cut their new batch of songs. The resultant Hiding Out is a trippy and undeniably groove-hardy affair, with Barnett's dreamy, psych-tinged vocals sharing the spotlight with chorus-laden guitars, swirling keys, woody basslines, and urgent, clever percussion work.
Hiding Out is a remarkable debut full-length release, as catchy and accessible as it is bold and transportive, and it bodes well for a bright future.
Live @ Standard Electric