Blouse emerged from the Portland music scene last September with their self-titled debut, a dreamy pop-romp laden with synth hooks and effervescent vocals. The band tours relentlessly, and their next stop is a doozy— the Iceland Airwaves Festival. The band won Reyka Vodka’s “Breakthrough at Iceland Airwaves” contest and is set to perform in Reykjavik alongside indie mainstays like Phantogram and The Dirty Projectors. Each year, Reyka hosts a contest to send U.S. bands to perform at Iceland Airwaves—this year Blouse will be joined by stellar dance act, Vacationer. Blouse’s lead singer, Charlie Hilton, fills us in:
You are about to head to Iceland next month after winning Reyka Vodka’s “Breakthrough at Icleland Airwaves” contest to perform at the festival—what are you excited for the most?
THE BLUE LAGOON!
What do you expect to get out of playing Iceland Airwaves? Are you as excited about the show as checking things out in the country?
We’re looking forward to meeting Icelandic people and exploring the country. We’ve heard only the best things. Both the shows and the trip itself are pretty alluring so you could say our excitement level is equal across the board.
What’s up with upcoming music—any releases or remixes coming out soon?
We’ll be surprising people with something in the near future, but we won’t say what—or when!
A lot of people are connecting with your debut album—what inspired it?
A very basic human struggle: the awareness of mortality set against the expansiveness of love and the tension that arises when you try to reconcile those two things. I think the warehouse we recorded in and the combination of our sensibilities inspired the rest. We worked on the record for about a year, off and on.
How did you get into music?
My dad. He was always in bands and played a lot of guitar around the house. He gave me my first guitar when I was 11. As a teenager, I used to bring my guitar to parties and play for all the stoned people. I also used to love playing for people as they fell asleep. I think singing to vulnerable people made me realize how powerful music could be.
The indie music scene is getting broader every day—where does Blouse fit in?
I have no idea! It’s difficult to measure that kind of thing. I’ve been feeling a little out of touch lately because I’ve spent half the summer in the forest.
What’s next for Blouse?
We’re really excited about our second LP. If I were you, I would expect that early next year, with a few distractions in between.
Photo by Amanda Smith