The American poet John Ashbery once said “Most reckless things are beautiful in some way, and recklessness is what makes experimental art beautiful, just as religions are beautiful because of the strong possibilities that they are founded on nothing.” Sometimes, the things people say, whether or not you agree with everything in it or not, you have to admire the breadth of thought and understanding, and brilliance, that has gone into it.
Sheffield band Blessa didn’t want to be like other bands from Sheffield. It seemed to them that there was enough people in the city to adequately cover the niche in punk-blues, and they wanted to make music that was more textured and expansive.
The band was formed by two people who met whilst studying English Literature, vocalist Olivia Neller and Alex Burton on guitar. Influenced by not musicians and music but prose and poetry, particularly the New York school poets such as Frank O’Hara and (rather predictably maybe) John Ashberry. The expanded the line up to include Andy Piercy on drums, Rob Piercy on guitar and bassist Jake Murray.
As it is, they make this sort of intricate shoegazey indie. Between times opens with the ghosts of the Cocteau Twins and The Cure hanging over the bands shoulder. That’s not a negative thing though for Blessa, as it has this sort of retro cool about the whole thing, As the song develops this rising guitar solo line is the thing that lifts it, euphoric but dreamy, the whole thing whips and whirls to a climax, showing some, well, recklessness. The record is out on November 11th through London’s No Self records.
John Ashbery would be proud.