Chicago’s Bled Tape is one of those acts we love that we really want to lead more listeners to. Bled Tape is the project of Francis Shannon, who over the years has had a consistent release of good indie rock and experimental tunes, leading up to another stellar release in 2021’s Weird Weather.
It’s hard to find a good place to start when dissecting this album as it covers a good wide range of musical expression. Weird Weather has chilled-out lo-fi rock/pop tracks with plenty of experimental flourishes. Shannon can just as easily turn a fun pop beat into a mind-bending psych banger, all while having precisely delightful rhythms and a good array of instruments. It’s the combination of both that make tracks like “Sunken” and “Mirror Image” not only amazing as esoteric explorations but it also leads them to be perfectly catchy as well. Bled Tape has captured a good balance of familiar and weird in this record, and it’s for that very reason that this album is a must recommend for anyone even vaguely interested in indie and bedroom pop.
No matter where you are in the spectrum of casual or technical listener, there’s something in here that you can latch on to. “Purity” places its listeners in a digital dance floor full of robotic beats and ethereal vocals, while “Wait” is a catharsis of shoegaze, with guzzling guitars bubbling through a hot cauldron of lead.
By far my favorite track here is “Earthworm”. For someone who likes the connection between jazz and math rock – this one’s a straight up hit. Coupled with Shannon’s wonderful arrangement of synths and guitars (featuring wah-wah tones intermingling with ghostly beeps and boops) it feels like there’s a celebration going on in my headphones. One that I’d love to dive into headfirst, but with hesitation – as it feels too delicate to the touch. The title track is also a standout one, where Shannon channels all of his emotions through a somber layering of strings and that slowly builds up with the addition of vocal and synth harmonies. The song crescendos into a climactic converging of sounds, ending in a slow chant that feels like going home on a long-fought journey.
Bled Tape cements itself yet again as one of our favorite indie acts on Buzzyband. This is one that we highly recommend not only for their consistently good records but also for their constant improvement through each new release. Check them out below!