Label: Share It Music
Catalog #: 76004
There’s no other city on the planet as synonymous with the 90s as Seattle. And for Marihuzka Cornelius a/k/a MC, singer, guitarist and songwriter in Bloods, growing up in Western Sydney during that pre-Internet age, it might as well have been another planet. It seemed so far away, so mythic in stature. A sort of paradise, or nirvana, where outcasts, misfits and music reigned supreme.
Pouring through rock mags and staying up late watching music videos on Rage, trying to catch a glimpse of her flannel-clad rock heroes, it would’ve seemed unthinkable to teenage MC that one day she’d be standing in a studio in Seattle about to record with her own band.
Not just any studio either, but Jack Endino’s Sound House (y’know just the guy who recorded Nirvana’s Bleach, no biggie), with Steve Fisk on production and mixing duties (yep, the dude who’s worked with Soundgarden and Mudhoney) and using the very amp Kurt Cobain played through on his band’s debut record. Oh yeah and guess what, teen MC, Cheryl Waters is playing your band on KEXP, your publishing is signed to Sub Pop and your new EP is coming out on Seattle label Share It Music too. TEENAGE MIND BLOWN.
So what do you do when your teenage fantasy becomes reality and the city you’ve loved from afar starts loving you back? You do what any self-respecting 90s tragic would do and dedicate your EP to it, just as MC and her bandmates Dirk Jonker (drums) and Mike Morgan (guitar, bass and backing vocals) in Bloods have done on their free-spirited new EP, Seattle.
“We first came to Seattle about four years ago and we met so many amazing people. We got signed to Sub Pop Publishing, got played on KEXP, all this unimaginable stuff,” MC says. “It’s funny cos everyone involved in making this EP and supporting it and bringing it to life, with the exception of the band and our manager, are from Seattle so it’s kind of this love letter back to the city that embraced us.”
Clocking in at under 15 minutes, the six-track EP doesn’t waste any time getting down to business. Opening with lead single “U & M E” Bloods confidently mark new territory for themselves. Far moodier than anything the band have presented before, the track coolly balances a playful lyrical conceit against a detached sexiness and the result is arguably Bloods at their brooding, hedonistic best. But there’s plenty of the band people all over the world have come to love as well. From the middle finger waving kiss-off of “The New Guy”, to the buzzsaw sugar rush of “Waste Of Time”, and the Ten Things I Hate About You (set in Seattle btw) homage “I Hate It”, Seattle is dripping in a the wry, couldn’t-care-less attitude that would have been right at home in the Seattle of the 90s.
Perhaps the track that deals the biggest blow however is “Girls are Just Fucking Cool Like That”. With the opening lines “Well I had a baby, and I’m not dead, no matter what you say/Yeah she is amazing, but it’s ok I’ve still got dreams inside my head” the song is a celebration of female resilience, with a first verse that touches on MC’s personal experience of how invisible women can be made to feel after they have a baby. “When I run into people I know on the street, so often the first thing they ask me is ‘where’s your kid?’, it’s as though just because I’ve had a child I’ve stopped being a person in my own right. Like I’m just reduced to being a mum now” MC says. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid and love being her mum, but this song is saying women can still continue to dream and grow and live full lives alongside their children, despite their ethnicity or age and who cares what society thinks of you for doing that!”
Similarly, Bloods’ idiosyncratic take of The Smiths’ classic “Some Girls are Bigger than Others”, which closes out the EP, reclaims it as a feminist anthem. “I know Morrissey is cancelled,” MC laughs. “But sung from a female perspective this song almost takes on this completely new meaning. As most women know, you literally spend half your life thinking about your weight and thinking about being a certain size and I just love what a literal view it has on something that ruins people’s lives. It felt empowering to sing about it in such a detached way. Like, who cares?!”
Ultimately, casting off society’s expectations and being free to express yourself, while having the best time doing it, is what Bloods are all about. In light of that it makes perfect sense that they chose to call this EP Seattle.
“Our experience of Seattle so far has been that no one we’ve come across seems to give a fuck about what colour you are, or how old you are or if you’re a girl or any of that shit,” says MC. “It’s just a cool city that embraces creativity and sees the value in that. We wanted to capture that spirit on this EP.”
Mission accomplished, Bloods.