Sabrina Teitelbaum has jumped in a time machine and returned to the ‘90s with her newest project Blondshell, which is out with her first, rather memorable self-titled debut album.
Blondshell captures the sound of The Cranberries and Hole and adds Patti Smith’s brutal and honest songwriting in one album. There’s no bad thing about being inspired by some of the greats, but Teitelbaum makes the sound her own; with the support of none other than Yves Rothman (Yves Tumor), Teitelbaum gives grunge a more updated sound that would impress those that aren’t even into indie-rock. Either way, Teitelbaum allows us to update our Sad Girl Autumn playlist and add some to our “Summer of ‘23” playlists. Because this album has a bit of everything for us, and her bluntness keeps giving.
Veronica Mars opens the album with grunge-inspired guitar riffs and witty lyrics, “Logan’s a dick/I’m learning that’s hot.” And becomes intense towards the end with heavy guitar riffs and loud drums that bring one back to the 90s grunge scene. Sliding into the second song, she no doubt embraced and learned to be vocal about her needs. There’s a jazzy-influenced guitar throughout the song before ending on a heavy note of frustration and annoyance, both in the lyrical delivery and in the guitar, which was just a bonus to a brutally direct line: “Just look me in the eye when I’m about to finish.”
Salad shows another side of Teitelbaum; witnessing someone you love go through a challenging experience can bring much anger to those on the sidelines. However, the song’s instrumental arrangement starts with what someone would connect to a lullaby, the twinkling sound. Later adding a punchy kick drum and angsty guitar riffs brings the song to the whole by ending it with her singing, “We were never violent” To the sound of distorted guitars.
Sepsis is an excellent example of toxic relationships, “He’s a dick, but at least it’s obvious.” This shows she’s not afraid to show listeners that she’s less than holy and is a simple girl who needed validation from men sometimes. Dangerous closes the album, and she puts on a vulnerable display while singing about social anxiety and the fear of being forgotten by her new friends during COVID-19. Even the instrumental arrangement with the simple guitar riffs and her vocals leaves a haunting presence once the songs end.
Teitelbaum shows that bearing her soul and being direct, not taking yourself too seriously while dealing with serious matters, can pay off. But instead of wrapping her words in heavy metaphors, Teitelbaum decides to let herself be the butt of a joke many times throughout the album. This has paid off and shown how there are different ways to write songs and process things in life by adding a bit of wittiness and rawness to her music.
Find it here.