Formed in the early winter months of 2015 in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, Blessed were born from a shared creative objective. From the start, its original four members found themselves naturally amalgamating elements of Post-Hardcore, Minimalism, New Wave, Krautrock, and Punk. To date, Blessed has released one single with Toronto’s Buzz Records (Weaves, Dilly Dally, Greys), and two critically lauded EPs. The Fader wrote of the EP II: “Dominated by the high-fructose riffing pioneered by Deerhoof, giving way to a darker, propulsive jam that’s just as chaotic, yet well-controlled.”
Four out of Blessed’s five members cut their artistic and organizational teeth in a fiercely D.I.Y. community that developed in the most unlikely conditions. In the Fraser Valley’s sprawling collection of suburbs and farmlands, there is little cultural infrastructure. And there is even less municipal enthusiasm for the arts. It is a Lynchian setting that nurtures overt conservatism and covert creativity.
Young Valley musicians were forced to creatively accommodate their burgeoning local music scene by whatever means available. They turned the basements of shared punk houses into venues. They convinced former pastors to give them the keys to churches where they could play. They met a 65-year-old socialist sandwich shop owner who gave them access to his space after hours to host touring bands from around North America.
From this marginal yet supportive scene, Blessed built connections with a broader community. Their unparalleled work ethic took them on a set of tours that was ambitious for any band, but mostly unheard of for one without a full-length release. Together, they played 225 shows across North America, including stops at Sled Island, SXSW, and supporting slots with acts ranging from Preoccupations, The Courtneys, Chastity, and The Austerity Program. Meanwhile, individual members found time to tour Europe, start side projects touted by The Needle Drop, and tour the Pacific coast opening for Fucked Up.
Coming up on their fourth year of existence, the group is independently releasing their debut full-length album Salt on April 5th, 2019. Recorded and mixed over three weeks in Montreal with producer Jace Lasek (Suuns, Wolf Parade, The Besnard Lakes), the album finds this already expansive group pushing the boundaries of their sound. Having incorporated a fifth member on guitar/keys, they explore the nuances only touched on in previous releases. The songs range from short, staccato, punk-tinged flares to lengthy escapades that recall Deerhunter’s noise-rock freak-outs and Do Make Say Think’s lush cinematic passages. “Salt” delivers immediate gratification, while continuing to reward repeat listens with the subtle layers and arresting discoveries peppered throughout its eight tracks.