Sometimes it’s what is said with a smile that hurts the most. In that sense, the songs on Charly Bliss's Guppy - bright, shimmering power-pop collections tailor-made for summer days driving with the top down - are the musical equivalent of a knife in the back. Listening to frontwoman Eva Hendricks’ absurdly frank lyricism on the band's 2017 debut, though, (“I laughed when your dog died... Does he love me most now that his dog is toast?”), you are left with the impression that whatever she'd say behind your back is something she’d just as happily say to your face.
And therein lies the beauty of Charly Bliss. Barely hidden behind the surface glitz of the production, slightly obscured by the catchy pop hooks, sometimes eclipsed by Hendricks’ sugar-coated prom queen vocals, is a band of palpable ferocity. While the music and lyrics are often unabashedly light-hearted, the singer’s lyrical diary can burrow deep into her own turbulent coming-of-age story, offering an intimate cocktail of anxiety and depression, self-doubt and shame, that refuses to shy from - embraces even - the thornier details.
‘I watch her like its softcore porn', Hendricks admits on “Julia,” obsessing over her boyfriend's ex. Then there’s this slap in the face on "Glitter": “Am I the best? Or just the first to say yes?” Her words are as universal as they are deeply personal, rough vignettes offering a broadsheet on the caustic milieu of young America.