Facebook: @theblipsbham - The Blips
The first album from Birmingham’s newest supergroup, The Blips, was destined to be a pleasure to the ears. The 5-person band features some of the city’s most celebrated and talented musicians, but nothing could prepare the listener for the infectious anthems that weave their way from speakers to heart with ease.
Released April 9th, The Blips album packs 10 songs worth of catchy riffs, backing vocals, and even a spectacular take on The Troggs’ classic song “Wild Thing” into 31 minutes of fun. Taylor Hollingsworth, Will Stewart, Wes McDonald, Eric Wallace, and Chris McCauley came to have fun, and the results are truly a joy for us all.
The forming of the band is the culmination of years of talented musicians crossing paths and eventually making various plans to collaborate. All of this came to a head when Taylor and Will needed additional instrumentalists for a project they were working on and realized they wanted to work with the same few people. A few conversations later, five friends were ready to make some audio magic.
The pace of the creativity that happened afterwards would make a NASCAR driver jealous of the speed they were witnessing. “Everybody in the band is a pretty strong songwriter, so it just kinda came out pretty easy” states Hollingsworth. And as his bandmate Wes references, they have all spent countless hours putting together songs for numerous bands, but The Blips experience brought quick results.
While the songs came together rapidly, there were still decisions to be made when it came to specific sounds and styling - and the band took time to discuss and vote on each of these occurrences. “We’re trying to be a democracy. There’s five dudes so you get the three to two vote a lot, but it’s just rock and roll. It ain’t no rocket science.”
Every member of this Magic City masterpiece has various levels of punk influence in their music DNA, and the record certainly reflects this. However, the inspiration comes from far and wide. “We all like a lot of the same music. I think we individually each lean heavier in one direction or another, but we can all find a middle ground that we’re all happy with.” says Taylor of the band’s direction.
The most collaborative track on the album is the catchy “Throw Me Around”, which saw all five bandmates create a substantial section of the song. Eric started things off by creating the rift, and the rest of the gang was right behind him with the vocals and finishing touches.
Most of the tracking was done right before the pandemic, with the only recording done after being a few individual vocals in each singer’s home. The mixing, which was done by Birmingham legend Brad Timko, was done during the pandemic so it looked a bit different than usual. Brad would mix a song then send it to the band. Each bandmate would listen on their own, take notes, and send it to one representative to compile a list and send the edits back to Brad. While not the most convenient way to record, many in the band already had some level of experience with this practice, pre-pandemic, through various online collaborations and projects.
The band doesn’t know what to expect audience-wise when they return to live music. Their only show was at Seasick Records the day before the lockdown. They are excited to test the waters though, as they return to live music with an outdoor show at Ghost Train Brewing on May 8th!
For a record that was made because a bunch of friends wanted to have fun and try something new, it certainly appears that gold has been struck by this talented bunch - and even more goodness is being created as we speak. The band is already working on a few songs for a second album.
It’s clear everyone in the group has appreciation for their peers, which makes it even more fun to listen to. As Taylor puts it “It’s a privilege to play with these local dudes who I’ve been a fan of their music for years.” A privilege indeed, and one that the whole city appreciates. Birmingham music is a true gem, and we encourage everyone reading to take the time to support our wonderful scene!