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Jim And The French Vanilla “Afraid Of The House”

Jim And The French Vanilla is the solo project of Jim Blaha from The Blind Shake.  This is his 3rd album under the Jim And The French Vanilla moniker, but the first to be made widely available. (the first 2 came out on CDR-only and limited-to-100 LP, respectively)

The first 2 albums were acoustic, one-man-band affairs, but on Afraid Of The House, Jim (along with his brother/bandmate in Blind Shake Mike Blaha) expands to a full band sound, to astonishing effect.  The basic songwriting retains the incredibly distinctive mystical, other-worldly atmosphere of The Blind Shake, but the instrumentation and sound are both stripped down to their essence, dialing way back on the heavy-psych stamp of the Blind Shake at their heaviest.

Raw, feral, but incredibly CATCHY, Afraid Of The House covers a wider sonic pallet than one might pick up on at first. From poppy to heavy, from atmospheric to wild, Afraid Of The House reflects a wide range of ideas and emotion, while maintaining surprising consistence throughout.

Always prolific, Afraid Of The House comes out a mere 2 months after the latest Blind Shake album, Celebrate Your Worth, released in November on Goner Records. Other recent releases include Shadow In The Cracks, Swami John Reis And The Blind Shake, and others that I’m sure we’re forgetting.

We here at Dirtnap Records have long been huge fans of the Blaha brother’s output. We were JUST thinking that we should give these guys a call and ask about working together sometime, when the demo that became Afraid Of The House landed in our mailbox, via Max “Dirtnap A&R” Desharnais, of Sonic Avenues fame. If that ain’t serendipity, we don’t know what is.

 

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