Listening to The Blow has always been a mild obsession, but I’m pretty sure every girl I dated since 2007 ended up with “Parentheses” on some mix tape of mine. But, after spinning a good deal of time with The Blow, it’s good to see that Khaela Maricich hasn’t dropped off much since the departure of Yacht. In fact, my book has her better off, as this record’s bursting with fun.
The work on previous efforts from The Blow is still prevalent, as this seems mostly like a continued experiment for Khaela’s voice, with the beats coming in second place. “Make It Up” holds tight to that formula, with Maricich operating on various pitches throughout the track. It picks up in the back end, uniting vocal samples atop vocal sample. But, in writing about a record by the project, it’s always difficult to work through by just talking about the beats that back up the vocal. However, I think the range in the vocals are what ultimately make the record more than enjoyable.
On a track like “A Kiss,” you get the whole spectrum of the offering. It opens with a semi-sultry croon from our frontwoman, paced playfully in the foreground. It sucks you in immediately, and moments later, there’s a slight rise in the pitch, while the beats stutter. From there, it floats off into a loftier vocal realm that adds a new level to the track. It’s all complimented by the backing vocals soothingly approaching from the background. These are the sorts of songs where The Blow really excel, showing that despite a very simple approach, there’s still some dynamism in the process.
For me, part of my whole experience also circled around the search for the standout track, and for the most part, I think that’s where this record might have a step above its predecessors. Each track on here is purposeful, and none of the above should be discarded during your listening experience. That being said, I’ve really been drawn to “Hey” during my last several spins. It starts with heavier pulsating beat, carefully building tension before the song slowly rises to its musical climax. You can feel it in the vocals, as a lighter keyboard begins to accent the driving rhythm; I especially like how the song holds out longer than expected, then unleashes the hook. It’s definitely a song that’s piqued my interest.
All in all The Blow have another great little listen on their hands. They’ve never been knocking down the doors of creativity, but they’ve always given the audience something that’s ultimately rewarding/endearing. It’s becoming increasingly harder to look away from the group, especially when things are as focused and enjoyable as The Blow.