Out of the Bedroom and onto the Stage: Bleu’s Big Debut Set for March 6th at The Ship

A chat with Marcus, a sample song, and some thoughts on the album

Bleu

Article by Chad Pelley

Bleu is the brainchild of Marcus McLaughlin, and his latest album, Colours II,
is quite unlike any other local release of late.

The album boasts a hazy, laid-back, melancholic indiepop sound, that has
something in common with M Ward’s – or She & Him’s – old-timey tunes, or,
local group Slick Nixon’s subdued rock sound.

Here’s “Familiar Faces,” now in Heavy Rotation on Overcast Radio

“It doesn’t take much to influence me a certain way,” Marcus says, “I listen to a lot
of different types of music, but I find the most influential albums are those that tend
to be a little experimental, in terms of recording. I also listen to all the things you’d
probably expect from me. Bands like Of Montreal and Deerhunter have stuck with
me for awhile.”

Bleu started out as a bedroom recording project, but as of this month’s stage debut,
he’s taking his songs out of the bedroom’n’Bandcamp sphere most home recorders
dwell in.

“I’ve always been more drawn to bands rather than the singer-songwriter type thing,”
he says. “I mean, technically Bleu is a solo project, but I don’t really want it to sound
like one. There’s a certain power that comes from having a band backing you up
that’s not so easy to get on your own. There’s also the opportunity to get people
sweating and dancing, which happens a lot less often in my bedroom.”

For DIY bedroom recordings, the sound is commendable and a cut above most local
albums made at home. McLaughlin’s friends Ryan Pretty, Adam Ravalia, and Zakk
Sullivan fill out the band. “I’ve lived with Adam and Zakk for the past two years, so we’re
basically common law.”

Ryan was recruited for his guitar skills. “I’ve always known Ryan was a great guitarist,
so we invited him to jam with us and it worked out really well.”

Despite some tweaking in the song arrangements to fit a live setting, the songs haven’t
been transformed much by the process of filtering them through a new band. “Zakk kills
it on the drums,” he says, “so maybe there will be some more energy. Not quite moshing,
but hopefully some people will maybe do the twist or something.”

Don’t miss the Bleu’s big debut: March 6th at The Ship. They’ll be playing alongside three
of the hottest new bands in town, Slick Nixon, Maans, Jonny & the Cowabungas.

“This way,” Marcus jokes, “even if we’re terrible people can just forget and then in a couple
months say, ‘Wow, remember that cool show with Slick Nixon, Maans, and Jonny & the
Cowabungas, and definitely no one else?” But yeah, it should be a good time.

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