Blondshell | photo by Megan Matuzak for WXPN
Blondshell brings a refreshing air of authenticity to NON-COMM
The Los Angeles band gave the audience a short and sweet taste of their self-titled debut.
- Veronica Mars
Blondshell turned their “short and sweet” set on the NPR Music stage into an all-out album release party. The L.A.-based band played five songs from their self-titled debut, out now via Partisan Records. The result was a twenty-minute deep dive into the psyche of band leader Sabrina Teitelbaum and the brutal bliss of early adulthood.
Their brazen indie-rock detailed the ups and downs that come with trying to figure it out. Armed with all too relatable anecdotes about disregarding your therapist’s advice about a totally toxic relationship and the addicting allure of “some dude’s gaze,” from the second Teitelbaum stepped on stage she brought a refreshing air of authenticity. On the opener, “Veronica Mars,” the smoldering guitars and the blunt lyrics like “Logan’s a dick / I’m learning that’s hot” made it automatically evident that Blondshell wasn’t here to mess around. Instead, they gave audiences a glimpse into the tumultuous haze every twenty-something stumbles through, best observed on “Sepsis” as Teitelbaum mused about bad sex and questioned salvation while the band built up to an anthemic chorus. It was that combination of cathartic arrangements and heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics that created the show-stopping moments in which Blondshell truly shined.
Towards the end of the set, they slowed things down with “Olympus,” a teary-eyed lament that ushered in a moment of sobering self-reflection. The gentle guitars provided a respite from the otherwise high-energy performance, allowing Teitelbaum an amount of unabashed vulnerability in which she recalls the smell of vodka and sweating out drugs. A song full of Mitski-esque yearning and unflinching analysis, they continued the trend with the closing track, “Salad.” A peak at dark dreams and total destruction, the vignette is a revenge fantasy ornamented by smoking basslines and a slow burn that left the audience breathless.
You can catch Blondshell on July 21 at PhilaMOCA with Hello Mary; details can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.