The Blow

The Blow is an electronic duo comprised of Khaela Maricich and Melissa Dyne. A shape shifting entity, The Blow has been many different things over time and is sometimes multiple things at once, but is at its heart always one simple thing which is a qualilty of intimacy made tangible, most frequently in the form of a pop song. The current line up of The Blow looks a lot like a band, or as much like a band as The Blow ever has, with both members playing instruments together onstage. Maricich plays keyboards and Dyne controls a wizard's rig of modular synthesizers and sampling hardware. Together they produce sounds in tandem, passing the frequencies back and forth between them before sending them out through the sound system. In the The Blow's current series of shows, titled "Unplugged," Maricich and Dyne perform songs from the extended Blow catalog simmered down to their vital elements. Halos of sonic ambience hover around each cluster of lyrics and melody like auras illuminating the essential qualities of each song. The shows are meditations on the amorphous material of The Blow's songs as well as on the experience of listening itself; they are spaces for the performers to tune into the minutiae of each other's shifting spheres of focus, responding in time as the sounds build between them, noting and responding as well to the audience's quality of listening, synthesizing these waves of electricity and attention into feedback loops of delicately reverberating energy.

Love Inks

Austin, Texas three-piece Love Inks are set to surprise and seduce music fans and critics across the board this Spring, with the release of their debut album E.S.P. due May 10, 2011. Conceived and recorded with strict, direct motives, the sounds captured within the album's 10 tracks are simply an electric guitar, a bass guitar, an old drum machine, at special moments a Moog Satellite and, most importantly, the simple yet poignant vocals of Sherry LeBlanc.

The combined sound is minimalist dream-pop; imbued with raw emotion, sexuality, and splashes of electronic color. Focus is placed primarily on the voice, which is direct and honest and real - no frills, tears through extravagant side roads, or indulgent solos necessary.

Sherry however, is a firm believer in positivity. Her lyrics are never abusive or cynical:

"We are a family, and in some ways stronger because we are always supportive. The album reflects a time and place for everyone in the band. A time to pare down to what is necessary, essential. Cut out complexity, and you'll find a deeper layer that is thicker and stronger. Like the human body, you'll eventually end up at a nerve; once it's hit, that's when we know we're there, and that's when we press the record button."

Self-recorded in their own home of Austin, Texas and mixed by a friend, the idea was to get the purest signals from all instruments and feed them through an 8-track reel-to-reel, immediately warming the sounds and weaving them all together. This process was drawn out on a piece of paper in schematics before recording with the concept being: The less digitized, the better. In March of 2010, Love Inks started the process with fifteen or more songs, and by June they were down to a solid ten.

The songs featured on E.S.P. were written to showcase the essence of emotion behind each instrument. It started as an exercise and became the only way to do it, forever. With the guitar and bass, Love Inks found there is a way to drop it perfectly into the song, in between everything, so that the vocals can exist in their own world, floating independently above the song.

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