For Khaela Maricich and her girlfriend and bandmate, installation artist Melissa Dyne, there is no separation between “work life” and… everything else. “We wake up, we start talking about ideas, we don’t have our clothes on yet really, you know?” explained Maricich, “and it’s this sort of experiment where it’s unclear what’s going to happen exactly.”
The two have been together for just over seven years now, and recently released their first (self-titled) album together as The Blow. Also seven years, Maricich put out The Blow’s last album, Paper Television, with then bandmate Jona Bechtolt of YACHT. It was a minimal, rawly coy release, and in the many years since, has left fans waiting for more and wondering: what took so long?
“Making songs takes a long time, we found. Just even getting to the point where you’ve written some songs that seem worth singing. That have meanings to them,” related Maricich from her New York apartment last month. “There are no ‘lost years.’” What there are are years spent touring (2006 to the first half of ’09), settling into New York living (the couple moved from Portland that same year), and the creation of what Maricich describes as “this whole world”—aka The Blow.
“We built this world for ourselves. This ecosystem I guess,” mused Maricish. “And now it’s just kind of growing up around us. We’re like, ‘here are the foliage.’ It was the fucking scariest thing either of us had ever done, because we sort of went out on a limb and did it our own way. And now, there’s not really room or need for anything else.”
This world is often cleverly, uncomfortably—refreshingly—frank. “I heard a rumor that I was amazing/ I tell myself everything I hear about myself,” croons Maricich on the bouncy, poppy “I Tell Myself.” “A Kiss” brings the line “A kiss was just something to do with my tongue until you kissed me” and “Like Girls” is all about being objectified as a woman – while objectifying other women. The music is, as in the case of the last output, coy and comfortable in it’s own insecurity. It’s also very cute – Maricich has a mumbling alto voice that she has admitted to being embarrassed by – and not without some complexity.
“The big show is at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday,” exclaimed Maricich. “The good thing about that one is that we will have performed 26 shows around the country, so it will have grown even more. It will be like ‘megaworld.’ The ocean will have separated and the whole planet will have gotten awesome.”