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June 2019 (Frank Iero cover)

Charly Bliss brought the fun to 2017

Charly Bliss have injected 2017 with some much-needed frivolity. "People need fun," they explain.
Published: 9:38 am, December 19, 2017
Charly Bliss brought the fun to 2017
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Charly Bliss have injected 2017 with some much-needed frivolity. "People need fun," they explain.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset="vc_col-lg-offset-2 vc_col-lg-8 vc_col-md-offset-2 vc_col-md-8"][vc_column_text]"We're all terminally humble," grins Eva Hendricks. She and the rest of Charly Bliss are sat downstairs of London's Old Blue Last. It's their first time touring overseas and tonight sold out months ago. "Sometimes you just have to get rid of that mentality though and force yourself to get excited," she continues. "‘Fuck yes, we're really doing it, and it's going well."

2017 has been "exciting and emotional" for the group. "We've been a band for seven years and known each other for even longer than that, so at least once a day, all of us have a moment where we stop and are hit with the realisation: ‘We're here, and we're doing this.' It's just crazy, and I don't think we'll get over it anytime soon."

After finishing a debut album, the band scrapped half the songs, rerecorded the others and wrote a load more. "I definitely cried to my mom that the record's never going to fucking come out," smiles Eva. The finished ‘Guppy', inspired by Weezer's The Blue Album and putting big emotion and big fun front and centre, was finally released in April. Passed around on personal connection and word of mouth, it's forged deep-rooted and intimate relationships with everyone who's crossed paths with it.

"As an artist, you're always trying to create something that younger you would have benefited from. For me, my happiest memories from when I was younger were being in a car with my friends and having something we could all scream along to and all loved." Alongside that sunshine abandon though, sits feelings of self-deprecation and self-love. "I always feel both things at once," explains Eva. "I wanted to make something that captured that sentiment. The lyrics are pretty emo at times or contrasting with the fun nature of how the songs sound, and there are certain things I wanted people to take away from that. I'm really happy there's a song about therapy, and loving your therapist on the record because that was something that was hard for me growing up."

From the snarling fizz of ‘Percolator' until the flip-flop triumph of ‘Julia', Charly Bliss take that opening wink of ‘I think it's cool I'm in touch with my feelings' and drive towards the horizon. The record gives validity to every emotion that courses through it, carrying weight, reason and refusing to be silent. There's power in the vulnerable. Hopelessness isn't interesting.

"People say my lyrics are dark and even though I struggle with anxiety and with depression, what excites me in music, art, isn't just bleak despair. That's so boring to me. And it's way too easy if we're honest. I think anyone can be negative. Anyone can just look at something and say it's fucked. I find joy and humour so much more interesting and inspiring. That's what I'm always striving for. Most of the lyrics are funny to me. I'm usually trying to make fun of myself, even when I feel dark."[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image="47806" img_size="full" alignment="center"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset="vc_col-lg-offset-1 vc_col-lg-10 vc_col-md-offset-1 vc_col-md-10"][vc_column_text]
“Anyone can just look at something and say it’s fucked”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset="vc_col-lg-offset-2 vc_col-lg-8 vc_col-md-offset-2 vc_col-md-8"][vc_column_text]As for the delivery, "If Guns ‘n' Roses get to screech at the top of their lungs and sound squeaky and high pitched, then so the fuck can I. We just wanted something that would make people feel good."

‘Guppy' bubbles and whirls with electric excitement. It sparkles with discovery and for good reason. "We used to be lost in the sea of Brooklyn bands ‘cos we just wanted to fit in and be like those other bands and have really cool sounding guitar rock music," starts Sam. "There are a lot of great bands that make great music, but not a lot of those bands are willing to try and write a catchy song. It's seen as uncool. When we started writing poppier songs, it made us feel less cool, but it's also what made us stand out amongst the group."

"Pop can mean so many different things to so many different people," continues Eva. "To us, it means that no song can be disposable. There can be no room for any moment of filler. That was super important to us. If there was a song that was doing something that another song was already doing, boom. Gone. We worked our asses off. There's not one moment, not one second of music on the record that we didn't pick apart and ask, is this as good as it could be?"

"The word we always use above all the others, pop, rock, whatever, is fun. More than anything, the first time we tried to make the record, it lost all of its fun. It's a difficult notion, ‘This is fun, this isn't fun, where's the fun setting?' But people need fun. There's a lot of music that's asking ‘Is it cool? Is it sexy?' But something we really care about above all else, whether it's a sad song or a happy song, is, is this fun and are you having a big emotional connection? Do you feel something? We're living in really fucked political times. It's a time for political organising, it's time to be sad, it's a time to recognise how fucked everything is, but it's also a time where people need a fucking release. I don't ever want to pretend our music is something that it's not but I think that's something really positive about our music."

Charly Bliss might have had a brilliant year, but they're not spending much time looking back. "We're all so anxious and neurotic that if we dwelled on it too much, we'd get too excited or too nervous. We really took our time with finding what we do best, how we work best and it took forever for the album to come out. It'll take a long time for the fear to go that everytime we book a show, there will only be two people there. When you're a band that takes its time to get moving, you never really get over that feeling." Instead, the band are already looking at album two. Hopefully recording in February, the band spent the whole of August in their practice space writing new music.

"In scrapping the first edition of ‘Guppy' and going back, we identified a lot of things that are the pillars of who we are as a band. That's really helpful, but also, you want to do something that's a little different, or a little more exciting for you now. We're trying to find new ways to make the next record sound huge that isn't just louder guitar. We're excited about toying around with new instruments and a different pallet but still heavily committed to them hooks.

"Whenever you make a record, it's the contents of your life and a portrait of the inside of your brain at a certain moment in your life. The first record was mostly written while I was in college and I was in a horrible, horrible relationship where I was breaking up every week. I was miserable. It's been really different but interesting writing songs when 95% of my brain power isn't occupied with heartbreak. For me, it was really hard to write new music until ‘Guppy' came out because I felt like it was just stuck in limbo. As soon as it came out, I felt free. Now my brain is different, my thoughts are different, my experiences are different, and I can move on."[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_js]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