Blondes have finally released their debut EP, and it’s brimming with the indie goodness that we’ve come to expect from them. The EP consists of 6 songs totalling a 22-minute listen that breezes by in what feels like no time. The track list features 4 previously released singles, including breakout hit Coming of Age, and 2 brand new tracks in Low on the Comedown and Lavender.
The EP kicks off with a bang with previous single Minimum Wage. We reviewed this track around its original release in the Summer and it has only grown on us since then. We mentioned that they weren’t afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, and with the release of this full body of work, their influences are even more clear. There’s a classic feel to each track and a confidence and swagger to each.
Next track, Out the Neighbourhood, has been in the bands arsenal since they formed, being the first track that they ever wrote together. It is arguably also their best work to date. It is huge and betrays the bands youth and inexperience, it is so accomplished and fully realised that it almost feels out of place on a debut EP. There’s a sing-ability to the tune that tells us the band knew it was one the fans would adore. It is sure to be a staple of their live shows for years to come and feels perfect as the closer for any live set as it leaves the listener wanting more.
Luckily, it’s only the second track on this EP so we get that wish and it is followed by the band’s biggest commercial hit, Coming of Age. We of course reviewed this breakthrough song and its equally brilliant music video. It is incredible to see how far the band have come since this time. The song remains their most streamed track on Spotify but has almost tripled in the amount of streams since we first reviewed it. It’s a testament to just how good the song is that is has continued its popularity even after its TikTok trend has died down.
Fourth track Street Fight is the last of the singles to feature on the EP. It was originally released just days before the band’s debut at Reading and Leeds festival at the end of Summer and was actually used as the opener for the bands set at the festival. It’s my favourite of their singles by far. It’s more subtle and subdued than its counterparts but is no less euphoric and catchy. The pre-chorus chant is infectious, I’ve found myself singing “You’ve got some nerve showing up” at random points throughout each day ever since I heard it. It builds up brilliantly to a soaring chorus that’s propelled by the vocals and instrumentation that soars with it. The whole track feels very relatable, as do all of their songs. But here in particular, with this track about a relationship falling apart, there is something about the muted instrumentals and the almost fed-up delivery from vocalist Will Potter that adds to this feeling.
Low on the Comedown is the first unheard track of the EP and it just might be my favourite. It’s an extremely feel-good song and contrasts brilliantly with Street Fight before it. It’s 3 minutes of pure joy celebrating having a good time with your mates and the comedown that follows it. It’s fantastically upbeat and joyous and will have you singing “I don’t love anyone but you” for days.
Lavender is the EPs closing track and is a melancholic acoustic track and is a great way to close the EP after 5 high-tempo efforts. It does an excellent job of showing another side to the band that the previous singles didn’t get the opportunity to showcase, a side that can slow things down and tug at the heart strings with an all-around solid love song. It wouldn’t feel out of place if I heard it on a Valentine’s Day playlist in a few months’ time.
The Out the Neighbourhood EP is an outstanding effort from a band far more mature than their years. It doesn’t feel anything like a debut EP and is a testament to the strength in song-writing and composition and raw talent of Alex, Will, Dan and Tom. Each song feels perfectly put together and perfectly placed on the EP. 2021 has truly been a year to remember for Blondes and there could be no better way for them to finish the year than with this EP.
Outside the Neighbourhood is now available on all major music platforms.
Article By Matt Codd