Blushing: “I know a lot of shoegaze bands like to just stare at their shoes, but I just can’t do it!” (6/19 at JB’s w/ Airiel)

“Christina and I are still going crazy up there!  We just can’t contain ourselves!  It’s true joy and we have to move our bodies!  I’ve actually tried to stand...

“Christina and I are still going crazy up there!  We just can’t contain ourselves!  It’s true joy and we have to move our bodies!  I’ve actually tried to stand still, just to see if I could do it, because I know a lot of shoegaze bands like to just stare at their shoes [laughs], but I just can’t do it!” says Michelle Soto, vocalist/guitarist for Austin-based shoegaze/dream pop quartet Blushing, which is comprised of not one, but two husband and wife pairs, with her husband Jacob on drums, Christina Carmona on vocals and bass, and Noe Carmona on guitar.

Last month Blushing released Sugarcoat, their second LP for Kanine Records (following 2022’s Possessions) and third overall, starting with 2019’s self-released, self-titled full-length.  “We definitely like putting out LPs, as opposed to EPs or singles.  We’re a full-album band,” Michelle tells me during a recent phone chat.  She says that while Possessions was very much a pandemic album, Sugarcoat is definitely a post-pandemic album: “With Possessions we had lots of free time and lots of downtime, but Sugarcoat is the result of the world being back to normal.”  “We all have our day jobs, so we have to record sporadically…  We had to find the time to get into the studio, so it was recorded in sporadic moments throughout the year,” she explains.  However, she admits that the process lends itself to the album feeling a little more raw and in-the-moment than its predecessor.

Blushing took [a couple of] their new songs on the road last month for a handful of shows throughout Texas.  “We did a four-date run with Slater, and that whole group is so good and so sweet and we were happy to get to do those dates with them,” says Michelle, before going on to tell me that they were amazed by how much fans loved the new music: “We played two off of the new album, ‘Seafoam’ and ‘Tamagotchi,’ and we were really excited that people were really excited to hear the new songs.  We have a few boxes of vinyl that the label gave us to sell on tour, and we were selling a ton of vinyl!”

Next week Blushing kick off almost a month of additional dates throughout the US, which will have them playing Johnny Brenda’s for the first time on Wednesday, June 19th, amidst a run supporting Chicago shoegaze legends Airiel.  They’ll also be joined that night (and for a portion of that run) by openers Bodywash, our Canadian friends whose last area appearance was cancelled when they were denied reentry into the US.  “We were super excited when we saw they were on a few of the dates.  We’ve been huge fans of theirs,” Michelle says of the Montreal shoegaze duo.

Michelle tells me that Blushing are currently preparing two different setlists, with these dates supporting Airiel followed by about a week and a half of headlining dates, but says that fans of any of Blushing’s material will hopefully be able to get their fix: “We’re really trying to pay equal attention to all of our releases.  We’re trying to get two-three songs off of every release, if possible.  We’ll do three-four songs off Sugarcoat, but then probably all the singles from the past releases, as well.”  She also tells me that the band has been pleasantly surprised by the fans’ reactions to their latest LP: “We pick three singles just based on what we think are the strongest songs, so then when people are telling us things like, ‘Silver Teeth is my favorite,’ or ‘Debt,’ which is the last song, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, there are other good songs on here [laughs].’”

While Blushing hasn’t spent a ton of time in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection (They played KFN in 2022, alongside our good buddies Puppy Angst.), Michelle tells me that the city did leave a special impression on the band when they played Boot & Saddle in 2019, supporting their good buddies Ringo Deathstarr (who they’ll be touring the UK for the first time with this September and whose Elliott Frazier produced and mixed Sugarcoat): “My memory’s horrible, but I was just thinking about this… I remember we played at Boot & Saddle and we had a great show, but it was the first time we actually had a merch line!  I took a video, because we had an actual line for merch!”  She goes on to muse, “People have preconceived notions that Philadelphians can be pretty rough, but they were the nicest people!”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.