Tough not to think of Courtney Love and Hole when listening to Du Blonde‘s new album, “Welcome Back to Milk” (what?!). The blonde singer, close to being naked on the album art, can scream as powerfully as the pop grunge icon. The first couple of songs tend to go in this direction.

But the Newcastle singer in her mid-twenties, named Beth Jeans Houghton, isn’t that much into grunge, like Hole was. Their music is a bit more complex, sometimes closer to theatric prog rock (Chips to Go). Du Blonde also does good pop rock à la 4-Non Blondes (Raw Honey) that can be catchy and almost light-hearted.

The public image distorts the music. Du Blonde isn’t that trash. After The Show is a beautiful slow song, played on the piano. Very cliché in its delivery, it does tell the moving story of somebody who has to come back on their feet after living a high. “The touch of your lips was my paradise”…

The music on their first album touches many styles. Soft ballads that focus on piano melodies (Hunter) rub shoulders with latin flavored indie pop songs (If You’re Legal) that make Du Blonde tough to classify. A touch of Regina Spektor, a touch of the Pretty Reckless (the rocker Hard to Please). One thing for sure, Du Blonde has great control over her voice. She shows a lot of confidence and throws in a very theatric angle to singing, that somehow brings back singers like Diamanda Galas or feu Freddie Mercury to memory.

Du Blonde is indeed a strange animal. Somewhere between charismatic singers like Florence Welsh and power pop band leaders, like Taylor Momsen.
She had released her first album in 2012 “Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose” which reached the top 100 in the UK, after a couple of EP’s. Houghton is also a photographer and illustrator, able to do realistic painting, comic book illustration, collage and sculpture. “Welcome Back to Milk” is her first work as “Du Blonde”.

DU BLONDE
Welcome Back to Milk
(Mute Records, 2015)

-Genre: varied power pop rock
-In the same field than Hole, Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine

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Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
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Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.