NYC’s Charly Bliss have released a video for “Black Hole,” the latest from their anticipated debut album, Guppy. The Matilda-style video, stars band members Eva and Sam’s one and a half year old cousins. Guppy is available for pre-order now and due out via Barsuk Records on April 21st.
If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss-an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover-can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.
Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids. Dan Shure and I dated when we were in our early teens and he and Spencer went to summer camp together. Dan and I broke up years ago, but eventually he’d become our bass player. The reason we all get along so well has to do with the fact we share this ridiculous history. We are all deeply embedded in each other’s lives.”
After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass Animals, Darwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt. Given their propensity for making hooky, ebullient pop songs, the band often felt out of step with what was happening around them in Brooklyn. (“We weren’t weird in the right ways,” says Sam). They eventually set about recording an album on their own-and then recording it twice-before figuring out what had been staring them in the face the entire time. “We basically had to come to terms with the fact that we are, at heart, a pop band,” recalls Spencer. “Before, it was always trying to decide which of the songs would be more ‘rock’ and which would be more poppy, but we eventually realized we needed to meet in the middle, we had to create an ecosystem where our loud, messy rock sounds could co-exist with these super catchy melodies and pop hooks. It was really about realizing what we’re best at as a band.”
The ten tracks that make up Guppy, Charly Bliss’ sparkling full-length debut, show the band embracing all of their strengths-a combination of ripping guitars and irrepressible pop hooks, all delivered with the hyper-enthusiasm of a middle school cafeteria food fight. That every track is loaded front-to-back with sing/shout-worthy lyrics and earworm melodies is a testament to the band’s commitment to the art form of pop songwriting. Opening track “Percolator” sets the tone-all power riffs and yo-yo-ing melodies playing against Hendricks’ acrobatic vocals, which veer from gentle coo to an emphatic squeal.
The band is currently on tour and have dates with Operators, Upset, Yucky Duster and See Through Dresses. All dates below.
4/5 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
4/6 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar
4/7 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café
4/8 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
4/26 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
4/27 – Raleigh, NC @ Neptune’s Parlor
4/28 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
4/29 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
4/30 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
5/1 – Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
5/2 – Denver, CO @ High Dive
5/4 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
5/5 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
5/7 – San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop
5/8 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
5/9 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
5/12 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
5/13 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
5/14 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s
5/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
5/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
6/15 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
6/16 – New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
CHARLY BLISS – GUPPY
4. Black Hole
5. Scare U
Out April 21st via Barsuk Records