Eva of Charly Bliss on Taylor Swift, Being Lyric Obsessed, and More

The opal club x SXSW

Charly Bliss released the music video for their new single, Capacity, in February. Directed by Michelle Zauner (AKA Japanese Breakfast), the video tells the story of a group of bank robbers partying after a successful heist. Eva, Charly Bliss’ frontwoman, is done up with big, teased hair as the other bandmates, Sam, Dan, and Spencer, are manically celebrating their newfound fortune. 80’s-inspired but grounded in the modern day, the video is an homage to the excess of the Reagan era.

The colorful, over-the-top visuals pair perfectly with Charly Bliss’ new record. The band is moving into a more pop-centric feel from the grungy, fuzzy sound of their last album, Guppy, and the nostalgic, gritty glamor of the video is delightfully fitting.

With the upcoming release of their new record, the band is leaning into a pop-centered voice. Featuring Eva’s distinctly feminine voice, the band initially struggled to find their sound in a male-dominated field. While she was embarrassed by both her voice and the subject matter of their work, Eva has leaned into exactly what makes Charly Bliss profoundly unique: “It's amazing when you realize, it sounds like a cliche, but what makes you different is the best thing about what you do.”

Their newfound sound brings a new voice to the brilliant, biting songwriting for which Charly Bliss is renowned. Inspired by pop icons such as Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, and Carly Rae Jepsen, Eva cites Swift as “one of the greatest songwriters of our time” and disagrees with the criticism of her songwriting: “you can't remove yourself from the fact that there are only several basic human emotions that everyone can connect to and tune into.”

Eva describes herself as “lyric obsessed”, and it shows: scenes of the bandmates and friends drinking straight from bottles of champagne and throwing around cash are coupled with poignant lines about coming into yourself and the hyper-ambitious millennial mindset. As Eva is laying on the floor doing snow-angels in a pile of cash, she sings, “I was raised an East Coast witch/ like doing nothin’s sacrilegious/ triple overtime ambitious/ sometimes nothing is delicious”. This line will strike a chord with driven young folks working in America’s late capitalist economy: the feeling of “I should good be at everything” or being “at capacity” and “spilling” out of yourself is rampant in the constantly striving youth of today.

In another line, Eva sings, “I used to think one man could fill me up/ But now I know that if I’m always stuck obsessed with somebody else/ distracting myself from looking at myself”. In a swift verse, Charly Bliss perfectly encapsulates the harm of the romance narrative shoved down young women’s throats. Charly Bliss’ true charm lies in their ability to capture intensely complex issues such as the effect of heteronormative romance narratives on self image and chronic overextension in just a few lines of infectious pop. Whether the band is making gritty pop punk or straight-up bubblegum, the group continues to create with the vibrant energy that makes their music both fun and empowering.

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Charly Bliss’ new record Young Enough releases May 10th.

By: Camille Townson