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Evolution is a tricky word when discussing current trends in music, especially when it comes to sophomore albums. The critically lauded BLOUSE, the 2011 debut from the Portland band of the same name was a lush, melodic and dreamy affair spiked with whoozy synths and delicate vocals. For Imperium, their 2nd LP for Captured Tracks, Blouse have shed the synths, done away with drum machines and wrote and recorded with instruments that don't plug into the wall,¬ù as enforced by bandmember/producer Jacob Portrait. Sonically speaking, that comes through on the LP immediately. Perhaps bolstered by the ongoing construction occurring next to the studio while the record was being made, the sense of force and urgency propelling the record is evident. Patrick Adam's driving bass and plodding drums in the title track usher in this new guitar-friendlier Blouse; more direct and clearer of vision, but still mysterious and beautiful.