Next Wave #1049: Blondes

In Association With Vero True Social

For Nottingham’s indie wonders Blondes the number four represents magic of sorts. The band have been playing together for four years, and the melodic foursome have worked hard to reach this point, and it represents a key point in their compelling story, with a lot more to come.

Recently the milestone of reaching more than 11 million streams with debut single became a big factor. ‘Coming Of Age’ went viral on TikTok, an ongoing event that continues to propel things for the band.

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An early phase of going to university, and playing gigs in their adopted home town came first. Vocalist and keyboardist Will Potter, guitarist Alex Davison, Daniel Stroud, who’s on guitar and drums, and bassist Tom Herbert, were able to observe how their following continued to grow. As things were building, the response they got intensified, and ‘Low On the Comedown’ soon became a local crowd favourite.

That same crowd has since expanded, and now comprises not only other parts of the UK, but countries further afield. Their sound is expanding all the time, too. The Beatles are an influence, and the sound of the ’90s and 2000s fuel a significant part of Blondes’ repertoire, more specifically, groups like Blur, Oasis, and Radiohead. “There are different things that we will take more of an interest in at certain periods of time,” maintains Potter. “That will then influence our songs. You can hear where we've been more influenced by synth and New Order, or War On Drugs, White Lies, and The Killers.”

Like many other bands, the global pandemic would greatly influence how the next stage of their career would unfold. Having graduated, the band members considering how to best nurture their creativity, and move forward in the circumstances. This was when the plan for the EP came together. “We found ourselves with quite ambitious ideas,” reflects Davison. “But with no real idea of how to realise them. It was around that time, before everything shut down that we'd started to pick up more support slots.”

Playing alongside acts like Inhaler and Stereophonics, and earning the opportunity to appear at prominent UK festival Live at Leeds, Neighbourhood, and Sound City, is an indication of the group’s vibrant trajectory. “We played Reading and Leeds,” Potter enthuses. “That was a big event for us. All the kids go to that festival, and it’s a moment, where you see that things are getting more serious, and it has now been a few months where things are coming together.”

Blondes are at ease in the live environment, but their identity is as much about writing and recording their own songs. Produced and mixed by Rich Turvey, the group just released ‘Out The Neighbourhood’ through American label C3 Records. An irresistible and catchy six-track EP, it delivers thoughtful and revealing song material that captures the complexity associated with coming of age.

“Being young adults, there's a lot about what it's like to be a young person,” says Davison. “We've tried to capture different moments in a young person's life, to have the euphoria of feeling unstoppable in one moment, in a song, but also reflections on how you're going to find your way getting older.”

The future no longer seems so distant. With some relationships already set in the States, through their record label, it makes sense to look at North America in terms of playing live, and they are keen to play dates there, when the time is right.

But before that begins, a headline show in London is on the horizon. On November 30th the group will play the Grace, a date they are excited for, and the prospect of many live dates and more releases in the new year and years to come is one of excitement. It may be early days for Blondes, but that makes their popularity no less of a promising start.

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Catch Blondes at London's The Grace on November 30th.

Words: Susan Hansen

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