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Review: Blondshell Establishes a Startling New Identity with Her Full-Length Debut

Blondshell establishes a startling new identity with her full-length debut.

Sabrina Teitelbaum’s complete creative rebirth has been captured on record; ‘Blondshell’ is the sound and story of a young woman realising her self-worth, observing her current position and making an effort to pursue greener pastures.

Having previously been operating very much within the pop field following an education at LA’s USC, it would’ve been all too easy to keep her head down and plough on with her previous pursuits. Instead, Teitelbaum has opened her own eyes, and indeed those of the quickly growing Blondshell fanbase, to a new person entirely.

That journey started with ‘Olympus’, the third track on her debut full-length effort; a simple and charming indie cut, the song explores the difficulties of letting go of bittersweet memories – once adored, now thrown on the fire. From there, a new world of rage, confusion, and eventual self-awareness flourishes under the watch of none other than Yves Rothman (Yves Tumor, Girlpool, Porches).

Opener ‘Veronica Mars’ establishes a standard of cathartic guitar solos and drawling vocal delivery, ‘Salad’ is driven by rhythm towards an empowering relinquishment of encaged fury, and ‘Joiner’ is a disappointed realisation of the trash surrounding the 25-year-old. The confident cuts throughout this record encourage others to recognise and value their own feelings rather than hiding them in service of their surroundings – they’ve clearly done the same for Sabrina too.

Not only achieving new heights when emotions run high, Teitelbaum also bravely embraces her newfound lows. Boldly declaring a craving for genuine intimacy and care in a world barren of such desires, ‘Kiss City’ eloquently phrases a pining for respect that is rarely spoken. Such sharply crafted lyricisms slot delightfully under a soaring chorus and screeching guitar lines – with fuzzy vocals rounding out a careful blend of sonics, the Blondshell identity has rapidly become synonymous with excellent attention to detail in all regards.

Admitting her own more conventional inclinations, ‘Sepsis’ compares the search for validation (particularly in the male gaze) to an infection. As she later refrains on ‘Sober Together’, “part of the disease is giving up”. In the transition into this new artistic direction, Sabrina has clearly given up some parts of herself – the parts that were dragging her down, keeping her stuck in an inauthentic moment of time – behind, despite the lack of ease such an achievement is forged with.

Over just nine tracks, ‘Blondshell’ makes an immediate impression and paves a new path; for Sabrina Teitelbaum, for the listener, and even for other artists. All parties are dragged through the flames of her life until a rebirth is earned. It definitely explores some low moments, but it is far from a depressing experience. Self-growth is audible in every roaring vocal, every riotous snare hit, and every precisely penned word. Listen up, this is truly the start of something new.

‘Blondshell’ is out April 7th via Partisan Records. Pre Save/ Pre Order here.

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