charly bliss: guppy

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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) Permalink


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

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) Permalink

very catchy

this is what all bands in nyc sound like now?

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

three weeks pass...

is this album out yet?

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

sorry, reread OP

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

my god, this is the new best band ever

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

this is the closest 90s thing to charly bliss imo

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

three weeks pass...

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) Permalink

this band seems great

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

Guppy streaming now at NPR.

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


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

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

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

yeah this totally rules, hooks for days

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

mentioning belly made me very curious.

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

This is everything I wanted it to be <333

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

"DQ" is so killer

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

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) Permalink

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

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

yeah also that!

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

katherine this is great!

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

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) Permalink

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) Permalink

"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) Permalink

Love this album.

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

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) Permalink

ennhhh, not especially

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

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) Permalink

i mean i shared y'all's reaction when i first heard "capacity" and "chatroom" but i hear that emptiness as space and atmosphere now, plus these songs are fucking great, i think their songwriting advanced considerably

american bradass (BradNelson), Sunday, 12 May 2019 14:06 (one month ago) Permalink

How could I not adore an album whose sound world exists in the space between Hole’s “Awful”, Paramore’s “Daydreaming” and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Hysteric”?

The title track destroys me.

Tim F, Sunday, 12 May 2019 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

otm. also add, i think, some rilo kiley song that didn’t exist before this record (“camera”) and taylor swift’s “clean” (“hurt me”)

american bradass (BradNelson), Sunday, 12 May 2019 22:20 (one month ago) Permalink

I need to step away from this album. Wasn't enthralled the first listen and it's been diminishing returns since. Hopefully I'll get something out of it when I revisit it but for now I'm firmly in the fragglerock camp.

Fetchboy, Sunday, 12 May 2019 22:51 (one month ago) Permalink

oh my god y’all this album is better than guppy

But it so isnt.

Johnny Fever, Sunday, 12 May 2019 23:37 (one month ago) Permalink

I've been thinking a lot of Rilo Kiley when listening to this actually - lyrically the subject matter isnt too far removed from The Execution Of All Things on eg "Capacity", also you can kinda hear how both bands have singers who've come from a performing background and bring that precision of charisma into their performance

It also makes sense because people went off Rilo Kiley when they started realising their mainstream potential too, More Adventurous is the best RK album and also the album where they became more obviously ~refined

boxedjoy, Monday, 13 May 2019 00:41 (one month ago) Permalink

i mean i shared y'all's reaction when i first heard "capacity" and "chatroom" but i hear that emptiness as space and atmosphere now

yeah in hindsight "capacity" was a great intro to the album bc it in particular continually shades the space w various melodic elements & the reverberating percussive punctures; and like i feel like lesser bands wld've made the chorus of "chatroom" denser, but e.g. the way the guitar seems to shift from reflective shimmer in the chorus to center of accumulation in the bridge w/o changing tone is why it's so satisfying... if guppy feels gaseous young enough is fundamentally solid; the former is maybe more formally memorable but the addition of synths here definitely doesn't feel like just expansion, they illuminate the surfaces the songs glide across (such that the rhythmic steadiness is the point-- see the way the drums build up by switching back mid-bridge on "bleach", the friction at the whim of momentum-- & also why the great pacing is esp notable). idk i think it's really impressive how they're going for something so different while still being recognizably themselves, altho it also means "this is better than that" is a hard sell

lowercase (eric), Monday, 13 May 2019 02:00 (one month ago) Permalink

the new album does make a couple songs on guppy feel a little aimless to me

lowercase (eric), Monday, 13 May 2019 02:01 (one month ago) Permalink

(well a softer word than aimless... a little less aimful, in comparison)

lowercase (eric), Monday, 13 May 2019 02:19 (one month ago) Permalink

this does the same thing the first album did: nice opening run of tracks, then gentle slump into mediocrity

it's decent music but no better imo. if you put the start of this album with the end of the beths album you'd have a decent 90s pop album

it seems insane to claim this is the best pop-rock/powerpop going but instead of providing loads of things i prefer i'll leave you all to it *shrug*

imago, Monday, 13 May 2019 08:25 (one month ago) Permalink

just provide like 3

alpine static, Monday, 13 May 2019 09:32 (one month ago) Permalink

speedy ortiz - foil deer for absolute starters

imago, Monday, 13 May 2019 09:33 (one month ago) Permalink

trust fund - bringing the backline
does mitski count? yes
sad13's solo album
mike krol?

imago, Monday, 13 May 2019 09:41 (one month ago) Permalink


imago, Monday, 13 May 2019 09:50 (one month ago) Permalink

p much all of those records have nothing to do with this one besides being superficially more complicated

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 13 May 2019 11:53 (one month ago) Permalink

the pup record’s songwriting isn’t this strong

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 13 May 2019 11:54 (one month ago) Permalink

lol i need to wait til i'm not tired before commenting ig

lowercase (eric), Monday, 13 May 2019 11:58 (one month ago) Permalink

anyway the only comparison itt that might make me want to listen to something else instead is bc nothing touches taylor swift's best song

lowercase (eric), Monday, 13 May 2019 12:01 (one month ago) Permalink

lol i was reaching a little for that comparison point. “hurt me” still sounds like a t. swift song though

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 13 May 2019 12:07 (one month ago) Permalink

Young Enough makes me madder every time I play it. This is the final time. Y'all enjoy, but if anyone says it's objectively better than Guppy I'm cursing your family.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 13 May 2019 14:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I think this is probably a lot like how I felt about Last Splash vs Pod.

o. nate, Monday, 13 May 2019 14:15 (one month ago) Permalink

it’s objectively better than guppy

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 13 May 2019 14:29 (one month ago) Permalink

imagine being mad at this record

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 13 May 2019 14:30 (one month ago) Permalink

imagine being mad

don't mock my smock or i'll clean your clock (silby), Monday, 13 May 2019 14:54 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 13 May 2019 21:07 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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

ufo, Tuesday, 14 May 2019 05:01 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (four weeks ago) Permalink


Johnny Fever, Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:35 (four weeks ago) Permalink

yeah I can agree with that

ufo, Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:45 (four weeks ago) Permalink

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

Simon H., Saturday, 18 May 2019 14:58 (four weeks ago) Permalink

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

o. nate, Sunday, 19 May 2019 01:56 (four weeks ago) Permalink

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 (three weeks ago) Permalink

and i love the rest of it


that chorus

alpine static, Tuesday, 21 May 2019 23:50 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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 (three weeks ago) Permalink

adam, Wednesday, 22 May 2019 16:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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 weeks ago) Permalink

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 weeks ago) Permalink

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:

I don't get wet because I am tall and thin and I am afraid of people (Eliza D.), Wednesday, 12 June 2019 13:15 (five days ago) Permalink

aw i love those photos

american bradass (BradNelson), Wednesday, 12 June 2019 17:28 (five days ago) Permalink

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