charly bliss: guppy

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

hi everyone this is my fav band in new york, like most bands in new york they recall the '90s but this is more specifically the belly/veruca salt axis if a little squeakier and more invariably bright

album out april 24

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 17:53 (two years ago) link


Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 20:33 (two years ago) link

as expected this thread will be authored by me and johnny fever, no features

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 21:28 (two years ago) link

very catchy

this is what all bands in nyc sound like now?

flopson, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 22:27 (two years ago) link

j/k tho i feel like there's not an insignificant amount of '90s throwback rock bands here or in philly

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 22:42 (two years ago) link

these guys have a particular ear for hooks though imo and prioritize the pop as much if not slightly more than the power which sets them apart

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 22:47 (two years ago) link

i've been waiting for a thread where i could casually drop the names of letters to cleo and eve's plum and not feel unwelcome.

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 22:57 (two years ago) link

also, they seem like they should be from boston, not new york.

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 22:58 (two years ago) link

I will admit and acknowledge that the throwbackness of Charly Bliss is what drew me to them initially, but Brad is right that they write exquisitely hooky songs that take the whole enterprise well above pastiche.

I've been trying to nail who exactly Eva's voice reminds me of. I'm still not there, but one day it will come to me.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Wednesday, 8 February 2017 03:38 (two years ago) link

kind of close vocally: paula kelley of the drop nineteens (speaking of boston):

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 8 February 2017 04:46 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

is this album out yet?

flopson, Thursday, 2 March 2017 18:04 (two years ago) link

sorry, reread OP

flopson, Thursday, 2 March 2017 18:04 (two years ago) link

my god, this is the new best band ever

alpine static, Friday, 10 March 2017 18:45 (two years ago) link

this is the closest 90s thing to charly bliss imo

flopson, Friday, 10 March 2017 19:02 (two years ago) link

yes! that dog. was what immediately came to mind for me, too. charly singer is a bit squeakier than Anna Waronker, but yes.

alpine static, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 23:57 (two years ago) link

Yeah, BradNelson is OTM that they bring the hooks. Thanks for pointing this band out

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Thursday, 16 March 2017 04:12 (two years ago) link

Charly Bliss are great. They've been around for awhile—"Love Me" was one of my favorite songs of 2014—I'm glad they're finally releasing an album (thankfully it's not loaded with old songs, like Bully's debut; "Ruby," "Percolator," and "Gatorade" are the only tracks already released). Does anyone else prefer the Audiotree Live version of "Percolator"? I love her yelp in the beginning.

Handsome Bookor, Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:20 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 6 April 2017 16:04 (two years ago) link

Great song and love the video for it. "Black Hole" is "Bad Box" on their audiotree live performance for those interested.

Handsome Bookor, Friday, 7 April 2017 21:34 (two years ago) link

this band seems great

ciderpress, Tuesday, 11 April 2017 13:21 (two years ago) link

Guppy streaming now at NPR.

Handsome Bookor, Thursday, 13 April 2017 13:30 (two years ago) link


ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 April 2017 13:31 (two years ago) link

oh yeah this is precisely as good as i expected it to be

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:16 (two years ago) link

yeah this totally rules, hooks for days

devvvine, Thursday, 13 April 2017 14:31 (two years ago) link

mentioning belly made me very curious.

Nourry, Thursday, 13 April 2017 15:09 (two years ago) link

This is everything I wanted it to be <333

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 15 April 2017 02:16 (two years ago) link

unsurprisingly I love this album, but it is way more like kay hanley than tanya donelly, both in sound and songwriting

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Saturday, 15 April 2017 03:00 (two years ago) link

Yeah, there's nothing Belly-ish about this at all. I like it more than I ever liked Letter to Cleo, though.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 15 April 2017 03:29 (two years ago) link

I'm not sure why they re-recorded "Ruby." I mean, it's about 99% the same, but the tiny differences are throwing me off.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 15 April 2017 03:33 (two years ago) link

btw the answer to who her voice reminds you of is mz moxy, or at least it is for me

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Saturday, 15 April 2017 03:42 (two years ago) link

This album is a miracle

And yeah I hear Letters to Cleo here more than anyone else, but they never made an album this consistently good

bunny slopes, Saturday, 15 April 2017 06:13 (two years ago) link

"DQ" is so killer

Handsome Bookor, Saturday, 15 April 2017 21:06 (two years ago) link

Of the songs posted itt, I quite like "Glitter." The rest are somewhere between "yeah, this is catchy" and "but did I really need another Letters to Cleo record?" Still, I'll check out the album. Hoping "Glitter" isn't the only track with synths on it.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Saturday, 15 April 2017 21:41 (two years ago) link

it's not! did....did you not need another letters to cleo record?

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 15 April 2017 23:36 (two years ago) link

I liked LtC, but I haven't touched their 90s records in years.

some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Saturday, 15 April 2017 23:44 (two years ago) link

I mean we just DID get another letters to cleo record also

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Sunday, 16 April 2017 02:59 (two years ago) link

and that's not counting Weaponize or either of the Palmdale EPs

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Sunday, 16 April 2017 02:59 (two years ago) link

yeah also that!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Sunday, 16 April 2017 03:43 (two years ago) link

Can't stop playing this album. Definitely my favorite of the year so far. Torn between "DQ" and "Glitter" as the best song on it.

Handsome Bookor, Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:17 (two years ago) link

i really like the rerecording of "ruby" and generally how much synth they layered over this thing

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:24 (two years ago) link

I came around to the new "Ruby"; took some getting used to. Was listening to the A Lot to Say and Soft Serve EPs today and realized just how much progress they've made with Guppy (really glad Eva takes lead vocals on all 10 tracks).

Also, she's quickly becoming one of my favorite lyricists. So funny, bizarre, and self-deprecative, but not in a classically emo tear-yourself-down kinda way. So many quotables on this record, but the opening lines of "DQ" are my favorite: "I laughed when your dog died/it's cruel, but it's true/take me back, kiss my soft side/does he love me most now that his dog is toast?"

Handsome Bookor, Thursday, 20 April 2017 21:57 (two years ago) link

katherine this is great!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 21 April 2017 11:51 (two years ago) link

Doesn't sound like them particularly but something reminds me of The Blake Babies.

yugi ex, Friday, 21 April 2017 18:38 (two years ago) link

I made a post in this thread yesterday giving Katherine a hi-five for namedropping Stretch Princess in 2017, but it disappeared. I can't let that acknowledgement go unappreciated though, so I'm posting it again.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 22 April 2017 12:46 (two years ago) link

"jawbreaker soundtrack" could be swapped out for "she's all that soundtrack" or really just like any soundtrack between 1995-2005

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Sunday, 23 April 2017 19:11 (two years ago) link

Love this album.

Matt DC, Sunday, 23 April 2017 21:22 (two years ago) link

this is great, they totally get that the best of this stuff was about hard rock as much as it was about hooks

call all destroyer, Monday, 24 April 2017 14:59 (two years ago) link

ennhhh, not especially

a self-reinforcing downward spiral of male-centric indie (katherine), Monday, 24 April 2017 18:01 (two years ago) link

I want to like this so much. They kind of have "Erica band" written all over them and yet I find her voice so awful and grating that I can't listen to any of it beyound a couple seconds. :/

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Monday, 24 April 2017 20:27 (two years ago) link

I definitely do prefer Young Enough to Guppy already. It kind of reminds me of how I felt about the second Japanese Breakfast album (which ended up as my favourite album of 2017). Everything feels so much bolder, especially with how Michelle and Eva get more personal using the music to talk about recent traumatic experiences (Michelle losing her mum and Eva coming out of a terrible relationship). They're both very cathartic and moving records in that way. Even though they both have more polished production, the hooks and songwriting are still very much there and sound like a natural development of what made the debuts so strong. It's no surprise that they're buddies with Michelle directing the Capacity video.

Right now, Young Enough is my album of the year. I really didn't see that coming after the singles and my first couple of plays of the album.

kitchen person, Monday, 13 May 2019 14:56 (three months ago) link

Charly Bliss aren't very original as a band and probably never will be, but within the borders of the power pop/indie genre they are quite good at what they do.

Maybe the debut is better than the new one, maybe not. The differences aren't that big.It is (and will probably always be for this band) more or less more of the same thing.

nostormo, Monday, 13 May 2019 15:32 (three months ago) link

one thing is for sure is there is music involved and you can definitely hear it with ears

alpine static, Monday, 13 May 2019 19:26 (three months ago) link

On first listen, I'm kind of in love with it.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 13 May 2019 21:07 (three months ago) link

No idea if or when I'll prefer this to Guppy but so far loving the hooks, phonetically and otherwise. Shades of Joe Pernice at his "fell over ourselves all summer" peak.

geoffreyess, Monday, 13 May 2019 22:53 (three months ago) link

the best love songs are about self-abnegation so tbh "Under You" totally rules

don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Monday, 13 May 2019 23:07 (three months ago) link

think my favourites here are "camera", "chatroom" and "hard to believe", still a really solid & enjoyable album

ufo, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 05:01 (three months ago) link

couple of spins and this is good, not sure yet if it's better than Guppy but there are some moments that suggest it could be. Title track is gorgeous and heartbreaking, also really liking "Camera" and "Hurt Me".

Roz, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 05:52 (three months ago) link

oh god, i adore this, hooks are just heart bursting. best compliment i can give is that it's the only thing recently that's managed to tear me away from the go-betweens. these first two records are an incredible feat.

devvvine, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 13:05 (three months ago) link

i didn't connect with the songs they prereleased individually but i am in love with this album and how it's sequenced. "blown to bits" is an incredible opener.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 16 May 2019 02:53 (three months ago) link

I've been listening to this on my commutes and it is simply fabulous. Gigantic hooks, smart lyrics, slick production. One of those albums where I'm looking forward to my next chance to crank it.

A. Begrand, Thursday, 16 May 2019 04:01 (three months ago) link

This feels like a good-to-great pop record that's really hamstrung by the laziness and obviousness of its production choices. Like, I find myself weirdly resentful of the way synths are used on records like this, like they're just there to add ballast and when you get to the end of the record you realise you haven't heard a single interesting or distinctive sound. Everything's blown up to such an extent that the record feels flat rather than big.

Also like a lot of bands who feel more about energy and momentum rather than rhythm it feels like they struggle to keep things interesting when the tempo drops a little bit. Like a song like Young Enough could really work with a different approach but it feels like a big stadium song that's constructed in the way that you might build a wall, just thudding and leaden and predictable.

Matt DC, Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:34 (three months ago) link


Johnny Fever, Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:35 (three months ago) link

yeah I can agree with that

ufo, Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:45 (three months ago) link

I think I agree with that too. Great songs, so-so sound.

Simon H., Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:58 (three months ago) link

I thought the production on this was good and suited the songs.

o. nate, Sunday, 19 May 2019 01:56 (three months ago) link

i guess this really illuminates what kind of a music / Charly Bliss fan I am, but i think "Hard to Believe" is my favorite song here

alpine static, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 23:47 (two months ago) link

and i love the rest of it


that chorus

alpine static, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 23:50 (two months ago) link

Agreed. I think the last indie band that could write choruses like this was the New Pornographers, but I don’t think even they ever had so many good ones on one album.

o. nate, Wednesday, 22 May 2019 01:31 (two months ago) link

I like a lot about the new album, but there are too many instances of the campfire indie stomp thing (more than zero). Every time it crops up it takes me out of the song.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Wednesday, 22 May 2019 15:30 (two months ago) link

adam, Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:39 (two months ago) link

i posted something like this in the Weyes Blood thread to crickets, but...

anyone hear the quick wrong note in "Hard to Believe" at 2:06/07? love that kind of stuff.

i can't stop listening to this song.

alpine static, Wednesday, 22 May 2019 22:02 (two months ago) link

someone actually commissioned kay hanley to review the record, which is perfect

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Friday, 31 May 2019 14:46 (two months ago) link

I don’t know how to review an album. It’s too much responsibility. Why did I agree to this? Argh.

lmao relatable

i love this

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 31 May 2019 14:50 (two months ago) link

Caught their show last night at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, and man was it great. This was their first time playing the big room -- they've played the much smaller adjacent tavern before -- and the energy onstage was just unbelievable. Definitely one of the best shows I've seen in the last 10 years or so. The interplay between Eva, Spencer and Dan is so energetic and infectious it's impossible to stand still while you're watching them. Can't remember the whole set list (I'm gonna be 50, gimme a break) but it included

Blown to Bits
Hard to Believe
Black Hole
Young Enough

and five or so others. And they closed with an encore of "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers.

(I just realized last night that Eva said her first big inspiration for learning to write songs was Rilo Kiley, and both bands have former child actors in them.)

A couple of phone pics I snapped:

aw i love those photos

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 June 2019 17:28 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Christgau's take:

He mostly likes it except (typically) wishes it was a bit more political and not so bougie.

o. nate, Sunday, 30 June 2019 02:41 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

hey so just to check in we now all agree that the new one fucking owns right? good

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:16 (two weeks ago) link

Nah, still hate it.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 16:17 (two weeks ago) link

what's the irish phrase? git tae fuck?

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:17 (two weeks ago) link

I've made peace with the fact they don't owe me another album that hits me the way Guppy did, so y'all enjoy.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 16:19 (two weeks ago) link

I'm a sucker for albums about bad relationships tbqh

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:20 (two weeks ago) link

I can't fault them for changing things up a bit, because they're still exceedingly competent about it. It's just not my particular bag. otoh the other big disappointment I had this year (Marina's album) comes down entirely to the fact she's become incredibly timid in her musical expression and the result is devoid of personality and risk. Charly Bliss didn't get shy. They just got more polished.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

Not a day goes by that "Capacity" isn't playing in my head at some point. And also usually "Camera."

"Under You" gets me right in the pit of my self-abnegating heart

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:27 (two weeks ago) link

I'm pretty far removed from feeling relationship shit deeply at this point (I haven't so much as dated since 2012), so nothing about love and loss hooks me to the degree it might have in the past.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

interesting -- not that the songs aren't about that but I wouldn't call charly bliss's core appeal their being about deep relationship shit

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:55 (two weeks ago) link

You're right. Not saying they really go spelunking into the deep, but silby's apparently taking that away from listens to the album.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 16:57 (two weeks ago) link

did I say deep?

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 16:58 (two weeks ago) link

"pit of my self-abnegating heart" insinuated as much. Ignore me, though!

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 17:01 (two weeks ago) link

The whole of this exchange is very low stakes for me, and I'm really just basing all my objections on the synths lol

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 17:03 (two weeks ago) link

I mean I think it's high-impact, like cf. the two most romantic things I've seen in the movies lately are Max giving blood to Furiosa and the consensual mushroom poisoning in Phantom Thread if that gives you a sense of my brain I don't know if I think it's deep

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

the synths are good they're like woomwoomwoom and then on other songs the guitars are like grangrangrang

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

I normally don't post on ILM lol but something like one album per year totally wrecks me and this year it's this one so I wanna yell about it

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 17:09 (two weeks ago) link

Go off! I'm glad people still have that energy. I don't anymore, even if I'm totally into something. I've only posted a couple times on the Meernaa thread, and that's my clear 2019 fave.

Johnny Fever, Friday, 2 August 2019 17:16 (two weeks ago) link

oh I meant, the core appeal seems to me like the hooks, where basically anything could be sung over them and it'd still be great; the lyrics are a bonus

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Friday, 2 August 2019 20:39 (two weeks ago) link

find it impossible to think of the lyrics as a "bonus" in an album like this but the world is full of different kinds of people and that's great

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Friday, 2 August 2019 20:57 (two weeks ago) link

at first i was indifferent, but this is a grower it seems

nostormo, Saturday, 3 August 2019 08:17 (two weeks ago) link

Saw 'em in Sydney a couple of weeks back, and they were great. Feel like the newer songs have more of a kick live with a higher tempo and less emphasis on the synths. They really just sounded more like Guppy songs, and for the better. Anyway, they had great energy and seemed like they were having lots of fun.

Mr. Brightside cover was cool.

triggercut, Saturday, 3 August 2019 09:23 (two weeks ago) link

I have to admit that I've warmed up to it (some more) in the last months. Now it's... fine.
But yes, as Johnny Fever said, they don't owe me a Guppy 2 and that's perfectly okay.
By now I'm just glad that this seems to be enjoyed by a lot of people.

fragglerock, Sunday, 4 August 2019 13:08 (two weeks ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.