Blondy Brownie is a peculiar trio where a rotating guest takes the third seat to accompany the brave creative girls behind the original concept. The first album called Almanach will come out this fall via Luik Records and will be an object-opus, a little work of art on its own and. A sort of artist-brochette if you will, bringing together twelve creations with guests from near and far. From Belgian Timothée Philippe (BRNS) and Antoine Wielemans (Girls in Hawaii) to international artists like Katerine, John McEntire, Jesse D Vernon or Olivier Marguerit. Their fluid multi-layered pop has a wholeness to it, the soft feminine voices and synths bring a coherence to the patchwork collective album. I met up with the Blondy and the Brownie for a little wine and a chat.
Who is Blondy Brownie ?
Aurelie : We are Catherine de Biasio (Blondy) and Aurélie Muller (Brownie), we are both Belgian, Catherine is from Charleroi et I am from Anderlecht. We’ve been playing in various bands for almost 20 years now (Mièle, V.O, Soy un Caballo, ) and we decided to make a band just the two of us. Well, it’s us two girls plus a male guest. Yes, it’s a boys only endeavor, at least for now.
What do you when you’re not blondybrowning ?
A : We play in several bands simultaneously (Noa Moon, Ici baba… and Catherine is also a mom and I work in a restaurant so we’re pretty busy with a myriad of things and projects.
How do you choose the artists you collaborate with ?
A : It’s always people whose work we admire, but it also depends on the particular song. When we’re composing, we quickly decide of a place that needs to be occupied by our guest. Once we know what instrument is left to be completed by our partner in crime, we roam our heads for artists we love to propose them the third spot. We still have dreams that have not been fulfilled so far… we’d love to do something with Beck, Etienne Daho, Jarvis Cocker or David Lynch. I have an audiovisual background and when I finished school, I dreamed of editing Lynch’s films. Can’t say I’ve actually tried but he’s still my Grail. But there’s time!
Almanach will be launched this fall, tell us about your album
It’s one song for each month of the year and there will be a bonus 13th month-track to close the opus. The album will include an actual vinyl-format almanach with beautiful pictures that you can use and reuse forever.
In practice, how do you perform the songs you composed with a given guest?
We are always 3 on stage. Boris Gronemberger (V.O. and Girls in Hawaii) is a recurrent guest and does guitar, drums and vocals. Sometimes we rearrange the songs to play them without the original guests. It would be a dream come true if we could play with all the original guests at a concert but it’s a mission impossible, they’re busy artists and some live very far away.
You played in Deep in the Woods…
Yes and it’s an incredible festival. Super family- friendly. We played towards the end of the afternoon and people were lying down on the grass, young children dancing on the front, it was super cute. What is different in Deep in the Woods is that people come without even knowing the line up ; they come for the atmosphere and to discover new bands. And as almost half of the public is Flemish-speaking, they listen to your music in a somewhat different way than by focusing on your lyrics, which is an interesting experience for us.
What is your first musical memory ?
C : I think it would be my parents’ listening to Bowie, Garfunkel… Very 70s British genres. There was always music playing at home.
A : My brother listened to a lot of indie music and I loved it. I think my first music crush happened when I was thirteen and went to see My Bloody Valentine at the AB.
Do you have a guilty pleasure ?
A : We’re geeks and we love buying instruments and music gear. We spend hours browsing thomann.de (laughter). Another guilty pleasure is sunbathing. And wine! So I guess if you put them together, you get a picture of tanning geeks drinking wine.
Something very few people suspect about you ?
A : People often take me for a b*tch, but I’m actually a nice gal.
C : I love casinos, the lottery and scratchcards. I’m a gambler !!!
How do the upcoming months look like, what with the album coming out ?
A : We want to do lots of gigs, including one in Paris, since there are also Parisian guests in Almanach.
C : I’d love for us to issue a new song with a clip every three months or so with guests who couldn’t join us for the album.
A : Last year, we launched a song with its video clip each month. The working pace was crazy and sometimes frustrating because you wished you could push further. But the time pressure also made each artist bring their very best and we got to meet some amazing people.
A wish ?
C : Winning Friday’s lottery ! (laughter) No, seriously, just that no big shit happens, in general. May nobody die.
A : Errr… I think we’ll have a big demographic problem then, Catherine!
So, Brusselsprouts, how do you have yours ?
A : I love them, just a dash of olive oil and Himalayan salt.