Blueprint Blue are lost in space. Their debut album, Tourist – self-released on their own Toadspin Records on 26th April – is a ten-track examination of love, the human condition and the future, beamed down from the ether and set to pristine, jazzy pop-rock.
Blueprint Blue’s voyage began four years ago, when singer and guitarist Elliot Hayward, bassist Huw Webb and drummer Melissa Rigby had their first band practice in a back room round the corner from a pool hall. Bound together by a shared love of Neil Young, Grateful Dead and Steely Dan, Blueprint Blue quickly found their groove. The South Londoners released two EPs, Undertoad and Flying Machine, and then welcomed guitarist Rhys Timson into the family.
Recorded to 24-track tape at Vacant TV studio near Greenwich with Younghusband’s Euan Hinshelwood, Tourist represents the freest and fullest realisation of the band’s potential yet. It’s heady mix of guitars, bass, drums and their trademark harmonies is underpinned by irresistible synth lines that wander brightly throughout; an album to float through, built on easy, meditative groove.
“We’re well into keyboard territory,” Elliot says, smiling as he remembers the ham-slicing incident that meant his string finger was out of action for a while. “I hurt my hand and couldn’t play guitar, and we’ve discovered more interesting chords. We always listen to Stevie Wonder, who does brass, strings and basically everything on a synthesiser, that became a big part of the album.”
Blueprint Blue blur the lines between reality and illusion expertly. Words and music float in and out of focus, slick musicality reels you in towards cryptic lyrical pay-offs. This is classic songwriting, subverted.