the beauty and loss of blvck hippie’s stunning ‘if you feel alone at parties’

December 23, 2021

“I don’t wanna hear it
Say you’re OK
Even if it means you’re lying”

Throughout Blvck Hippie’s impressive If You Feel Alone At Parties there’s a tension around admitting your true feelings. Singer Josh Shaw trades lines back and forth apologizing for baring too much, apologizing for not showing enough, asking others for honesty, and pleading for them to shield him from the unbearable truth. Throughout his fuzzed out indie anthems, there’s a constant question of honesty, blame, and frustration. It’s an album that wrestles endlessly with the feeling that you don’t know what you want, you just know it’s not this.

Piling heaps of distortion and reverb on every element, Shaw and co create a hazy atmosphere. You can almost smell the smoke coming up and surrounding his words, like a 3 am heart to heart at the end of a long night. Injecting post-punk energy into a shoegaze haze, creates a restlessness that cuts against the self-doubt. The best songs wrestle with a sense of place. “Art School”, “Bunkbed”, and the eminently catchy “Technicolor” all look for a feeling of belonging and come up empty handed. Shaw’s a deft lyricist, penning lines that are simple and brutally honest without losing the poetry of the moment. It takes a rare kind of artist to look around them, find everything lacking, and still find it beautiful.



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