Fascinating, frantic, quirky indie guitar-driven pop
Glasgow’s Blush Club return with ‘Ornamental Ponds’, the first single from the upcoming EP of the same name (due Sept), following on from the charismatic guitar pop of 2021 EP, A Hill To Die On.
‘Ornamental Ponds’ is a jaunty pop-tinged post-punk romp typical of Blush Club, while harnessing a more confident, catchy presence than their previous work, keeping you on your toes with an off-kilter take on classic indie rock chord progressions.
Vocalist Hamish Swanson poetically careens through observations of lockdown mundanity, before reflecting on past relics that have lost or changed meaning, before crashing into an urgent crescendo that stirs pent-up frustrations.
Blush Club formed when Conor Heafey (guitar) and Cameron Gibb (drums) shared a bill with the Swanson fronted The Vignettes at King Tut’s and were taken by his abilities as a frontman, adding Craig Carrington-Porter (bass) and Phil Smith (guitar) to the fold completed the line-up. Drawing from their shared influences and tastes the band create a guitar-driven post-punk sound, with their own fun spin as their pop sensibilities and sophisticated observations shine through. Phil Smith: “I just had this riff floating around that was kind of discordant, but we decided to go with it. Once we brought it together as a whole band, that definitely shifted its direction and gave it that Blush Club sound. I’d been listening to a lot of Stephen Malkmus and was really enjoying those classic rock chord progressions balanced with a bit of weirdness.
The chorus tries to capture that.” Hamish Swanson: “At the end of lockdown there was that really focus on mundane and local things. And that was the idea of having everyone growing tomatoes and the main thing you see is your hallway full of shoes. Familiarity with local stuff that’s in your direct proximity. “I had a couple of chats with friends about buildings and locations and how they changed meaning.
One, in particular, was Govanhill Cinema, it’s this grand, Egyptian-style building, very much like built during the Empire that is now mainly disused. Like this, an ornamental pond is quite a luxurious thing and I’m intrigued by the idea of filling that with rubble bags and questioning what that means in present.
“The music makes me think of Stephen Malkmus. And you think what it must have been like in the 90s and maybe a lot of the problems that we’re facing now weren’t really obvious. And it all seemed a bit gold hazy days, but we were all just born then, so we didn’t know about it, but then we didn’t know what the 2020s would be like.”