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New record from Charly Bliss tackles inner demons with catchy pop hooks and joyous self-deprecation

“It makes me laugh about things I’m ashamed of.”

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Charly Bliss is a perfect storm of bubblegum vocals crooning twisted lyrics. Its pop-punk instrumentation oozes bouncy energy while carrying a darker, complex message. Its forthcoming record, Guppy, is a brutally honest, super-catchy record that has mass appeal, while still feeling intimate in its exploration of inner demons.

Guppy’s power surges from its ability to show its neck, confessing intimate bad habits over unreasonably catchy, poppy hooks. It’s an inside look into the highs and lows of the band, especially those of vocalist Eva Hendricks. The songs are a vehicle for Hendricks to explore the darker, sometimes embarrassing things about herself.

“I think that’s kind of how I am. I’m both ways; really bubbly and excitable and outgoing, but also I struggle with anxiety and self-doubt,” Hendricks writes via email. “I think it’s kind of cool that we accidentally made a record that mirrors that.”

The opening lyrics of “DQ” are a perfect example: “I loved when your dog died. / It is cruel, but it’s true. / Take me back, kiss my soft side. / Does he love me most, now that his dog is toast?”

Though confessing you’re happy someone’s pet has passed seems intense, Hendricks isn’t afraid to tap into that theatrical, desperate desire to be loved above all, to be someone’s everything.

“To me, [‘DQ’ is] this really fun, irreverent, goofy song about a lot of really destructive behavior,” she explains. “I’m making fun of myself for ‘going south’ in a supermarket parking lot and for my insatiable need for love. It makes me laugh about things I’m ashamed of.”

“Ruby” is an homage to Hendricks’ therapist; in “Percolator,” Hendricks slyly declares that her self-destructive behavior will end up leaving her dead in a getaway car; and the album closer, “Julia,” is a grungy voyage that ends with a distorted scream of frustration.

Rather than writing the kind of emotive music that has fans curling up and moping, Charly Bliss encourages its followers to bounce around and shout along to free themselves from inner torment.

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