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Blondshell photo Jan 2023 Daniel Topete

Blondshell reflects on releasing her debut album: “What am I supposed to do now?”

16 May 2023, 19:23 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Ahead of her second ever UK live show, at The Great Escape on 11 May, we caught up with Sabrina Teitelbaum to discuss the making her of debut album, Blondshell, and giving the songs space to breathe.

In December 2022, Teitelbaum signed to Partisan Records (Fontaines D.C., PJ Harvey, Beth Orton) just six months after her breakout single, "Olympus", was released. When she announced the debut single alongside a name change – wiping the slate clean from her previous moniker Baum – the caption of her Instagram read: “It’s the music I’ve always wanted to make but was too scared to”.

Teitelbaum reveals to me that when she showed "Olympus" to her produced Yves Rothman, he encouraged her to explore that sound further. She explains that they initially aimed to write an EP, but the songs just kept coming. "Part of his role was helping push me to make a whole album, but I was kind of like, 'If I'm a new artist, what business do I have making a whole album?" Rothman's answer was simple: "Why not!?"

The subsequent months proved that Blondshell had nothing to fear after all. In January, she released the Britpop-influenced single "Joiner" alongside the news of her debut album – after a string of singles including "Sepsis" and "Veronica Mars" – and a month later, she was off to SXSW to play seven shows. Finally, she released Blondshell, in April.

Now that Teitelbaum's self-titled debut is out in the wild, she's grabbing more attention than ever. She was tipped one of the hottest acts at SXSW, and her appearance at The Great Escape is no different, with the gig at capacity way before she even makes it to the stage.

Whilst plenty of artists would be thinking about the next release, the moment the first has been wrapped up, Teitelbaum is keen to let the music reach as many people as possible. "I want to give myself the freedom to just focus on this album, but it is in the back of my mind," she says.

Following her second ever UK show at The Great Escape, Blondshell is embarking on an EU and UK tour, which returns to the UK on 24 May at London's Moth Club. She's excited about being able to play the new songs to as many people as possible – especially a whole host of brand new faces.

"I do want to spend time trying to have the music heard. That's why I'm putting it out – because I want people to connect with it, and I want to be able to play alive – otherwise, it would just be on my computer," she explains. "It's kind of a crazy thing, when you spend so much time on a kind of micro level; you're mixing the songs, you're mastering the songs, you're doing all these things, and then it comes out and it's like, 'Oh shit, what am I supposed to do now?' So I'm kind of in that part, where I'm like, 'Oh, it's out...'"

Teitelbaum admits that it's challenging for her not to think about "what the next thing is going to sound like", but is adamant that it's not a pressure that she wants to put on herself. Instead, she's trying to combine touring the new songs – and allowing them their new lease of life – alongside using those memories to conjure new inspirations.

"I'm writing here and there. I don't play guitar during the show, but I brought a guitar so that I can write while I'm on tour. I'm mostly just trying to give this album the time, and just focus on getting it out there," she adds.

Blondshell's debut self-titled album is out now via Partisan Records.

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