Loving Blonde-Redhead at 23

When a band has Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, and Guy Picciotto of Fugazi in their production credits on multiple albums, odds are they’re worthy of some notice. Both men have helped Blonde-Redhead cultivate an amazingly textured sound. Comprised of Japanese vocalist Kazu Makino, and twins from Milan (but moved to Montreal), Simone and Amedeo Pace, the group is now based in New York, NY. Their newest release, 23, happens to be their seventh album, and their second with the label 4AD. Previously they were signed to Touch and Go records, and whilst there they formed their relationship with Picciotto, who first produced the band on 1998’s In An Expression of the Inexpressible.


The latest release really impressed me with it’s layering and while they have been compared to Sonic Youth in the past, their more recent works are growing further and further away from that influence. At this point I’d compare them to bands like Deerhoof, or Rainer Maria, with a definite touch of contrast between Makino’s ethereal vocals, and the more aggressive sounds produced by the Pace bros. My favourite tracks off the album are 23, and Spring and By Summer Fall, Makino sings on the former, and Amedeo sings on the latter. In addition they have a contest involving Garageband remixes of a brand new track titled “Signs Along The Path” which is coming out as a b-side on the upcoming single release, “Silently”.

They’re playing Coachella on April 28th, and hitting Vancouver before that, on April 20th at the Commodore Ballroom. For those of us out east, they will pass through New York and Boston before hitting Toronto on May 11th, at the Opera House, and Montreal the next night on the 12th at Club Soda. Check them out and enjoy something… different.