Oslo-based electro-pop outfit BLØSH will deliver their debut album Keep Bleeding, Keep Breathing on February 12 but leading up the polished project, produced by Grammy nominee Øyvind Gundersen, the duo have delivered an exclusive stream a week early. Comprised of guitarist Jørgen Berg Svela and Madrid-born cellist/singer Teresa Bernabé, the two have been busy carving out a name for themselves with their infectious sound, which consists of upbeat guitar riffs, silky vocals, masterful harmonies and gorgeous cello.
With all the markings of a band on the rise - sonic style, penned vision and support from legends like Paul McCartney who voiced his support for Teresa's unconventional cello playing - BLØSH's debut album is set to mark the beginning. Stream Keep Bleeding, Keep Breathing a week before its official release and read our interview with the duo below.
How did BLØSH form as a duo and what vision brought you two together?
We met at uni in Liverpool in 2010. We were both studying music and started playing in each other's solo projects. We soon figured out that we worked much better as a team and canned all the other projects to start BLØSH instead.
What are your backstories as individual artists and how did forming a duo ensure you could really fulfill your artistic visions?
Teresa has a classical cello degree and Jørgen studied jazz guitar before we both came to Liverpool to study pop music. Our former studies have probably given us a certain technical and theoretical baggage that we can bring to the table when making pop music, but the real essence of BLØSH (sounds like a perfume,) are the references and influences we found together. When different people listen to the same music. the outcome of that is always gonna be more unique than on your own: that's definitely our biggest strength.
Your debut album Keep Bleeding, Keep Breathing - what was the process like of putting it together?
It was long. No, but it took a while to get going because we were still finding our style at first. After we finished one of our first singles 'Keep Your Tongue' we knew we were on the right track though. After that, things really came together and the album was recorded very naturally.
How were the recording sessions and writing sessions?
We usually write the songs and do a demo of the production at home. It's really nice to just bash out some drums, bass and keys when you have the melodic idea because you are just pure creativity. If you hear our demos you'll probably laugh at the quality, but to us we can hear where it "could go" and to us that's what demos are for. When we bring the songs to the studio we always play the track to Øyvind (our producer) and we come up with an angle on how to record it.
How did Grammy nominated producer Øyvind Gundersen get involved with it? What did you learn from that experience?
We toured with Øyvind when we were all playing in Mikhael Paskalev's live band. On tour we played him a couple of tracks and he loved it. After that we started going to his studio and worked on the tracks, one thing led to another and now we have our debut album. It's really been great working with Øyvind. He's brutally honest in a way that makes you trust him, not hate him. You understand that you are all on the same team and he brings a style to the table that we just don't have on our own. We definitely owe him a lot.
Your music has a throwback indie-pop feel to it. What personal nostalgic memories from your own life do you find that you've weaved into the themes on your debut album?
It's definitely a personal album - but it's a pretty up-to-date album as far as memories go. A lot of the tracks are reflections about the last couple of years after we moved back to Oslo. Some of them are dark, some of them are happy and all of them are trying to say "hey - we're gonna be fine!"
What are some of your favourite debut albums that helped inspire you as fans of music?
Wow. So many, and they might not be the first you think of when you hear BLØSH. Tom Waits - Closing Time, Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine, Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning 3am, The Beatles - Please Please Me, Talking Heads - 77 and many more. One of the amazing things about debut records is that they often include a lot of lovely imperfections. It makes these superstars sound human and in our eyes even more interesting.
What does Keep Bleeding, Keep Breathing represent for you personally and in your careers now that it is ready for release? How do you feel about what you've done and what the world will soon hear?
Right now it is so all-consuming it represents everything! We feel very excited and terribly nervous at the same time, but overall we are just very proud of what we've done because we've done it with no restrictions and on our own terms. We believe in this record with all our heart so all we can do now is put it out and hope you guys like it as well.
Keep Bleeding, Keep Breathing is a powerful title that represents persistence. How does that title best represent your journey as a duo to date?
The title really sums up the journey we've had. It's a lot of hard work making a record and whenever something hits you in the face you have to shake it off and keep going. Persistence is probably the most important quality you can have when building a project. That, and a ridiculous love for what you do.