The upward trajectory for South Florida musical expat Jordy Asher has been swift. One minute, he was toiling around the usual tri-county circuit, playing with bands like Stonefox/Blond Fuzz and then Young Circles. The next, he had, alongside girlfriend Carie Rae, vaulted to the top of the music-blog heap for their joint new act, Blonds, and their home-recorded debut EP, Dark Roots. With the onslaught of circling sharks and an expanding field of opportunities, it was obvious that they weren’t going to settle for South Floridian isolation for long. But even Asher himself admits to being a little taken aback with the suddenness of their relocation to New York a few months ago.
“The transition was really abrupt. We went from a lot of different conversations with a lot of different producers on both coasts for months. And out of nowhere, it was literally a one-week process when we decided on who we were doing the record with and that we were just going to stay in NYC,” he says. “It’s been challenging to readjust to a very fast-paced life with no down time. Your days off aren’t really days off.”
Nevertheless, the constant grind is paying off. The producer they settled on was Nicolas Vernhes, who’s helped acts like Fischerspooner, Animal Collective, and Black Dice reach their signature electronic/organic sounds in his two-story studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. That’s meant, naturally, access to studio expertise and equipment exponentially better than anything to which they previously had access. Dark Roots, after all, was written and recorded at home over a holiday weekend. “The new environment and the studio space had everything to do with the way it turned out,” says Asher. “Having hundreds of incredible instruments and possibilities around made the process feel really open.”
The first public offering from Blonds’ forthcoming full-length, The Bad Ones, is “Run,” a reverb-heavy, dramatic number that sweeps from spare to practically orchestral in a series of dramatic swells. With its minor keys and turgid, tentative pace, it’s markedly darker than anything on the pair’s comparatively twee EP. It’s a change that’s the result both, perhaps, of moving to grittier turf, as well as crossing into the more complex stages of the relationship that forms the basis of the band.
“The EP was almost a bit cartoonish in sound, which probably had a lot to do with where Cari and I were in our relationship. The album reflects us and our personalities a lot more accurately,” says Asher. Still, the new material is not all quite so deadly serious, he says. “There are also a lot of lighter and more beautiful moments on the album than anything we’ve ever done.”
Watch the unofficial/official video for “Run” below while you wait for more material from The Bad Ones, due out this August, to trickle out. For more of Blonds, you can check out the new look book for clothing brand aNYthing. Asher and Carie Rae star in the campaign shot by photographer Ricky Powell, famous for his iconic photos of the Beastie Boys. (Check out this one shot at the Raleigh in South Beach in 1994!) He’s also the guy who shot Blonds’ new official promo photo, above.