New Music Of The Day: Blue House – Hot Air Balloons (NME Video Premiere)

This London duo come with some decent previous – singer James Howard was in Postcard-esque fops Fiction and Ursula Russell was the drummer in Drop Out Venus, a band who were fleetingly brilliant and always chaotic, playing hundreds of gigs around dilapidated pubs in south London until they finally ran out of steam a couple of years back.

While their singer Iva Moskovich was a born frontwoman, I was also always drawn to the way Ursula played. She reminded me of Ginger Baker a bit – not so much in style, but in the way she looked when she drummed, and the way she was totally able to level up with the other DOV members. It was as if she was playing by feel, rather than going by the book, and that’s a rarity. It’s good to see her back making music again, basically.

Blue House sound, on this track at least, like a more refined and focused affair than either of the duo’s former bands. It’s all tight and bright major chords, meandering vocals and the kind of whimsy that also, coincidentally, made great, introverted songs like ‘Lydia’ by Chastity Belt sound so wonderful this year.

The video is like a magic mushroom trip, all purple fields, lava lamp gloop floating through the sky and doomy, impending sunsets. James, who’s dressed in regulation Bunnymen mackintosh, takes a slow and possibly stoned wander.

The track comes backed by a Elliott Smith-doing-Donovan b-side called ‘Confessional’, and is out now on Vaguely Pagan Recordings.