‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ is what Jennifer Clavin – one half of Bleached, the other made up by sister Jessie – asked herself upon the creation of the duo’s third LP. It’s turns out that Jennifer had, had enough; it was time to look inwards and do something the outfit had never done before: write and record sober. Whilst ruminating on the process of birthing an album with a clear head, Jennifer found the process to be liberating “writing these songs while sober became somewhat a spiritual experience. I had to let go, trust the process, and allow an energy beyond my control to be present”.
The sibling pairing’s latest release feels untethered from expectation and it’s this element of freedom that ripples through ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’, both sonically and lyrically. On the former, the Clavins’ still maintain their fondness for ragged punk but it’s sieved through different filters; one that finds the sisters journeying through a lithe funkiness, alongside a sound that embarks on 80s new wave. On the latter, Jennifer and Jessie can be found in reflective frame of mind; looking back on past life experiences, love lost and found and with it, there’s a sense of catharsis.
Touring with Paramore seems to have left an impression on Jennifer and Jessie, as certain chunks of ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’ invoke the same penchant for pop-funkiness that Hayley Williams and co explored on ‘After Laughter’. ‘Hard To Kill’ is a nimble, energetic bounce that adopts an infectious dollop of rump shaking percussion and whistled melody line; Jennifer can be found in defiant mood “all the cities we burnt down/turns out I’m very hard to kill”, as if to look back at the wreckage of substance abuse to recognise she’s still in one piece. ‘Kiss You Goodbye’s playful jiggle is typified by a rubbery refrain and Jennifer exorcizing her past “feeling so alive/something’s are meant to die”. ‘Silly Girl’s cut from a slightly different cloth, with a darker tone that finds the funk of the other tracks stripped right back. It’s here where Bleached can be found starring at themselves in the mirror asking, “time for growing up/don’t you think you’ve had enough?”. It’s a sonic wake-up if ever this was one.
Elsewhere on Bleached’s new record, the pair shift into more familiar waters, by plunging into energetic rock and punk missives. ‘Rebound City’ is a punchy break-up song, ready to be yelled at the top of the lungs of anyone washing their ends of a toxic relationship, as Jennifer role-calls a plethora of different boys’ names that have come and gone. ‘Real Life’s razor-sharp guitars and jaunty handclaps have the sisters reflecting on what it is to adult; “how was I supposed to know that things just fall apart/I think I should apologise but I don’t know where to start”. There’s a celebration of resilience on ‘Awkward Phase’; a song that commences in a static fug before expanding to a pounding cloud of fuzz, as the duo breathe a sigh of relief “we made it through the teen awkward phase”. The same feeling of teenage pitfalls plays out on the countrified twang of ‘Valley to LA’; as the pair reminisce “Operation Ivy was the drug of choice” and rejoicing “through the growing pains and the awkward phase from the valley to LA” as teenage punks trying to find their feet in the big wide world.
By putting down the bottle (or any other poison of their choosing), Bleached’s clarity couldn’t be clearer on ‘Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?’.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams
Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? is now out via Dead Oceans
Bleached Tour Dates:
Thu. Aug. 22 – London, UK @ The Lexington
Sat. Aug. 24 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
Sun. Aug. 25 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
Sat. Sept. 7 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
Mon. Sept. 9 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
Tue. Sept. 10 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
Wed. Sept. 11 – Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar
Fri. Sept. 13 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Sat. Sept. 14 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell)
Sun. Sept. 15 – Raleigh, NC @ Motorco
Tue. Sept. 17 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
Thu. Sept. 19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
Fri. Sept. 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
Sat. Sept. 21 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Mon. Sept. 23 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Tue. Sept. 24 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
Wed. Sept. 25 – Nashville, TN @ Exit In
Fri. Sept. 27 – Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Festival
Sat. Sept. 28 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Sun. Sept. 29 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Tue. Oct. 1 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room (Outdoors)
Thu. Oct. 3 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Sat. Oct. 5 – Boise, ID @ The Olympic
Mon. Oct. 7 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
Tue. Oct. 8 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
Wed. Oct. 9 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
Fri. Oct. 11 – Oakland, CA @ New Parish
*= w/ Refused and The Hives