For her third album, Du Blonde, aka Beth Jeans Houghton has undergone a major makeover. The vision of blood and bruises that haunted the cover of 2019’s excellent ‘Lung Bread for Daddy’ is replaced by a beaming Pop-Art image of a full-lipped, cigarette-toting bad-ass, exuding all the confidence of an artist with their own newly-formed record label Daemon T.V, and a fresh injection of sound to boot. Armed with a star-studded list of collaborators – Ezra Furman, Shirley Manson (Garbage) and Andy Bell (Ride/Oasis) - and a guitar loaned from actor Jeff Garlin - Beth cranks up the fuzz in a 25-minute set of power ballads and hit-and-run garage riffs, channelling Blondie, Pixies, and Rihanna in equal measures. Overall ‘Homecoming’ is the sound of self-affirmation, of Beth addressing, and even celebrating, personal battles with anxiety, poverty, and bad relationships – (“Didn’t think I’d be thirty, broke and happy,” she sings on ‘Ducky Daffy’) – through a glamorous pop-punk filter. When listening to the record, one can imagine the musician holed up in a bedroom, buzzing from copious amounts of late night coffee and nicotine, churning out these songs as an explosive “fuck-you” to the world. If nothing else, it is this, Du Blonde’s uplifting sense of defiance, which dazzles most. What the streamlined sound of ‘Homecoming’ lacks in broad musical scope, it more than makes up for in attitude.
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