Gear Talks: Blusher

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Gear Talks: Blusher

Blusher band
Words by Mixdown Staff

Pop trio Blusher sat down with Mixdown to chat about fav gear, their expertly choreographed live show, and loving shameless pop music.

Blusher, the Melbourne-based pop 3-piece whose self-described vibe is ‘angry sparkly pop chaos’ recently their intoxicating sophomore single “Dead End”.

Read up on all the latest interviews here.

Opening with a driving, gritty bass line that transports you straight to a 3am dance floor, it’s the kind of subtle and spunky modern pop that fans of HAIM and Muna will undoubtedly be drawn to. “Dead End” It pulls you in close with intimate vocals, before exploding into neon ‘head out the car window’ synths. The single follows on from a massive 2022 for the band, with a debut performance and release that lead to a signing from Atlantic Records/Warner Music Australia at Brisbane’s Bigsound. Amidst their frenzied schedule, Blusher found some time to sit down with Mixdown and chat fav gear, their expertly choreographed live show, and unabashed love of shameless pop music.

First of all, major congratulations are in order. New single, record contract announced – it seems like you guys are on the precipice of a bit of a meteoric rise! How did the three of you first come together to start writing and producing for this lush pop project?

Thank you! It’s been such a wonderful whirlwind, and it’s so nice to be going through this experience together. Before we formed a band, we had been cutting our teeth with our solo projects for a number of years. Lauren arrange-married us in a writing session one day and we quickly realised how compatible we were as songwriters and producers. There was a very sparkly and exciting energy between us, we all shared a love for hard hitting pop, and had the same nostalgic deep cuts from our teen years. We wrote our first song “Softly Spoken” that day and released it soon after. 

Tell me a little bit about the writing process for Blusher, is it entirely collaborative or do each of you write individually? 

It’s always super collaborative. It’s amazing being a part of a band where everyone sings, produces and writes. We swap instruments in the studio, and in our live show. We each have our individual strengths – Lauren is head chef of production, Jade is a vocal melody machine and Miranda can write basslines in her sleep. We usually dive into each other’s journals for song inspiration, and get excited by the same kinds of meaningful lyrics. There’s a lot of laughing and dumb jokes involved, and also a lot of experimentation.

Your sound aligns with so many avant-pop stars forging their own unique paths in the contemporary music industry, existing at the axis of critical acclaim and just being downright fun and dance worthy… MUNA, Carly Rae Jepsen and HAIM come to mind. Do you think that the deep-seated snobbery that has surrounded pop music for decades is beginning to change? What is your relationship to pop like, and has it developed and changed over the years?

We adore shameless pop music. There may have been a brief period a few years ago where we felt like it was cooler to suppress that obsession, but not anymore. We want to make music to dance to, that doesn’t exclude anyone – and pop is just that. Pop is also so fascinating at the moment because it draws from so many different genres. We reference all kinds of music, and we feel like there is actually a lot of freedom to experiment in the pop genre, which is super exciting.   

I hear that you ladies are hardcore audiophiles and take a hands-on approach with your production. I’d love to know what your standard production workflow is like? Which part of your setup is most integral to your sound and workflow?

It’s true, we’re definitely very obsessed with production. We usually start with a basic beat and bass line when we’re writing. We like to keep the production really minimal in the beginning so that it doesn’t take over or inform the melodies. The computer, midi keyboard and a mic are the most essential parts, a cup of tea and a comfy couch are helpful to the set up as well. 

Which of the equipment/music production software that you work with has most informed the aesthetics of the project?

We have a bit of a love affair with the Juno 60 (and Tal-U-No-LX plug-in). It’s the first synth that really captivated our attention and has played a huge role in the development of our sound. Samples and vocal effects are also foundational to our sound. We have a lot of fun turning the vocals into all kinds of instruments. Effects like Digitalis and Sketch Cassette help with this experimentation, and all the Sound Toys plug ins, of course. 

Any particular DAW of choice? 

We use Ableton in the studio and in our shows. We’ve been using it for so long, it’s such a comfort zone for us, it’s nice to feel really confident in the DAW. 

As three virtuosic vocalists, do each of you have particular mics or vocal effects that are integral to achieving the perfect sound? 

We love autotune, and like to compress the vocals quite a lot (we use run most lead vocals through LA-2A). We tend to demo on a SM7B, it’s nice to have a warm mic to pass around the room and not be too precious about. We’ve been re-tracking with a Mojave MA-200, which is a lot brighter, nice for those more hi-fi moments. In the future we’d like to experiment with a few different mics – our voices all have different qualities, so it’s a bit of a journey discovering what kind of mic (and vocal chain) works best for each vocalist.

You girls were just supporting the wonderful Aurora on tour, can you tell me a little bit about the live rig you’re currently running? 

Our live set is very high energy. The whole show is choreographed, we all sing and swap instruments on stage. For that reason, we like to keep the set up as simple and foolproof as possible. We run in-ears, wireless mics, ableton, a synth (korg minilogue) and a bass. 

To wrap things up, what’s next for Blusher?

We have a lot of new music to release! We’re so excited to show you what we’ve been working on.

Listen to “Dead End” by blusher here.