Du Blonde, aka Singer songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton, translates soulful 70’s love ballads and punk rock guitar shreds into sentiments of female empowerment, reinvention of self, and independence from domineering male presence’ in her new album Welcome Back To Milk. Before this driving force of an album, Houghton stuck to calmer indie folk sounds, and released them under her name.
The Du Blonde moniker is a huge departure from the folk instrumentation of those earlier albums, like Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose, or Hot Toast Vol 1. Those albums are beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Houghton’s vocal work is just as impressive on those albums, and the instrumentation is gentle and pleasingly melodic. But Houghton has found something in herself, something BADASS, in this album.
It’s soaked in speed, and saturated in soul. Welcome Back To Milk flips between tracks from take-no-shit feminist punk vibes (Black Flag), to swoony soul vocals and percussive piano (Isn’t It Wild). Those two aesthetics combine seamlessly, and with conscious experimentation throughout (horns on If You’re Legal, Samuel T. Herring vocal feature on Mind Is On My Mind).
The most impressive features of this album are the lyrics and vocals. Houghton has impressive vocal control that is displayed in punk quips and swelling, sometimes opera like bits. Encouragement of supple emotion and female empowerment come through in the lyrics: “All of this time I should have stuck up for myself / It’s a crime and it’s so bad for my mental health / remember you asking what did I expect / all I needed was a little of your respect.”
Houghton has tapped into something beautiful and intense with Welcome Back To Milk. And to mention, the album art work is top notch. Enjoi it!
Recommended If You Like: Black Flag, Will Butler, Sam Cohen, Bikini Kill
Recommended Tracks: ALL OF THEM!!! But especially these: 3 (Raw Honey), 4 (After The Show), 6 (Hunter), 11 (Mind Is On My Mind), 12 (Isn’t It Wild)
Do Not Play: 7 (Hard To Please), 8 (Young Entertainment), 9 (Mr. Hyde)
Written by Kayci Lineberger on 06/07/2015