Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
Sowing the seeds of a well-orchestrated song with an electronic sound that will remind you of an old arcade game, The Blend’s new song ‘Greta Says’ then explodes into life with stout-hearted vocals and the welcome addition of a steady drumbeat. The Blend have come up big time this October.
Having been long-term favourites of new music champions This Feeling, the band have been building an audience beyond their rock ‘n’ roll roots in recent weeks, especially now with the latest release. And to reward their shift in sound, Jo Whiley has repeatedly played the track on Radio 2, placing the youthful quartet in the company of such big hitters as Wolf Alice and Tame Impala.
Throughout ‘Greta Says’, The Blend speak to the concerns of their generation in a fun and engaging song about the environmental activist. Set to an indie-electro anthem with a soundscape powered by vintage synths and post-punk guitar, it blurs the lines between Inhaler and New Order.
Speaking ahead of its release, vocalist and guitarist Dylan Smith lamented: “We are a young British band writing about something that’s happening right now! ‘Greta Says’ has the potential to connect with people all over the world. This record is a turning point for us, we’re taking our sound in a new direction.”
The band produced the track themselves, and had the opportunity to record it in a very special location on the banks of the River Thames: Pete Townshend’s Grand Cru. It’s a studio built upon a repurposed barge that was custom designed by the innovative studio designer Eddie Veale back in the early ‘70s. The Blend were also assisted by Townshend’s go-to engineer Myles Clarke.
It represents another link between the young band and their hugely influential forefathers. The Blend’s drummer Francis Whitley was described as being “the closest I’ve heard to Keith Moon” by Andy Macpherson, and he’d know better than almost anyone - The Who have repeatedly enlisted Macpherson’s talents as a mixer over the course of several decades.
All aged between 21 and 23, The Blend have been performing together since 2013 with the line-up completed by Dylan’s younger brother Freddie Smith on keys and Ethan Harris on bass. Originally from Coventry, but now based in London, they were initially influenced by great British rock ‘n’ roll bands of the ‘70s before their sound naturally evolved with this latest release. Despite their independent, DIY ethos, they’ve enjoyed some landmark moments, picking up support from Gigwise and BBC Introducing, performing on London Live, and supporting The Blockheads.
'Greta Says' is out now on all major streaming platforms.