Blusher have had enough of sad music

With a joyous enthusiasm for both community and having fun with music, BLUSHER are here to stay. Read our latest Hype playlist cover feature now.

Words: Ali Shutler.
Photos: Jennifer McCord.

Blusher’s mission objective is joyously straightforward. “We want to make music that feels like you’re on a night out with your friends,” says Lauren, one-third of the kick-ass Aussie pop trio that stole the show at The Great Escape earlier this year.

Lauren, Jade and Miranda had been working as solo artists in the Australian music scene but connected over “wanting to make energetic, dance-pop music” following the bleakness of COVID-enforced lockdowns. “We’d had enough of sad music; we needed an outlet to make something really fun,” says Jade. “We just wanted to collaborate,” adds Miranda.

The group met up, bonded over the likes of Kesha, MUNA, The Black Eyed Peas, Robyn, Charli XCX, as well as MGMT and LCD Soundsystem, and wrote their first song together. Released last year as their debut single, ‘Softly Spoken’ is a shimmering chunk of euphoric pop that isn’t afraid of a little venom. “From that moment on, we knew this was something special,” says Jade and Blusher was born.

The group spent the next year writing songs for their debut EP, ‘Should We Go Dance’, while the month leading up to their first run of live shows was spent with a movement coach. “If we’re going to do it, we’re really going to go for it,” explains Lauren. “We’re not afraid to lean into exactly what the songs are about or be as confident and ridiculous onstage as we are in the studio.” Live, their giddy catharsis is backed by dance routines and props. 

The trio were all such fans of each other’s music before they officially formed Blusher, and that “absolutely hasn’t changed”, says Miranda. “It’s amazing to be onstage and see someone in your own band do something incredible. We just fangirl for each other, which isn’t an experience you can have as a solo artist.”

Each of the five tracks from ‘Should We Go Dance’ shows off a “different side to the Blusher world”, and in the studio, the trio would make time to show one another the strangest, most left-field tracks that they’ve been vibing with in-between sessions. “It’s so nice to draw from these other influences and put them through the Blusher filter,” says Jade. “We love straight down-the-line pop, but we also love it when things are less obvious and more weird.” Already Blusher aren’t afraid to play outside of contemporary pop to make things feel exciting. “There’s a lot of trust in that,” adds Jade.

“We would have loved to see a band like us when we were younger”

Jade Ingvarson-Favretto

“Allowing ourselves to experiment and not leaving anything on the table has been really important to us,” says Lauren, with all three members of the band dedicating years to crafting perfect pop songs. “We know what we’re doing, and we know how to do it well.”

‘Should We Go Dance’ is a celebration of female friendship and having one another’s back through it all. “It’s got the grit and the glamour of a night out,” offers Miranda. “It’s sparkly pop, but we wanted to leave in a few of the mistakes and the laughs. There’s a real emotional spectrum within the music,” she adds.

“It might be selfish, but we wanted to make the kind of music that we want to hear. This record is what we’d put on while we were getting ready to go out or to send to a friend if she was going through a breakup,” continues Lauren, with all the lyrics drawing from the trio’s own experiences. “Dance music can be such a healing force. If you’re having a hard time, it can instantly make you feel better and take you somewhere else.”

Another reason Blusher became Blusher was for Lauren, Miranda and Jade to work with people who weren’t blokes. “The tough thing about being a woman in the industry is just not having enough people to look up to. Only 3% of producers are women, so it’s really cool that with our band alone, we have three producers,” Lauren said in an interview last year. 

“We would have loved to see a band like us when we were younger,” continues Jade. “I hope Blusher gives as much power and confidence to young women as possible. We were all such fans of pop music during our early teenage years, and we know how much it means to people.”

The entire record has that sense of empowerment, but Lauren says it wasn’t a conscious effort. “It just comes naturally from the conversations we were having,” and the excitement of being together in a room with like-minded friends.

Elsewhere the personality-driven videos for tracks like ‘Backbone’ see each member of Blusher take to the spotlight. “We’re just trying to convey that there’s space for everyone in the music industry,” starts Jade. “If we feel so comfortable here, so can others.”

All three members of Blusher wanted to get involved in pop music because of its power to transport. “I’ve always found so much joy in music, but it’s also offered a beautiful hiding place when I needed it,” says Lauren.

“I’ve been obsessed with pop from an early age,” admits Miranda. “It creates this whole world you can escape into, which is why we wanted to put as much effort into the visuals as we did the music. We want people to feel like they’re part of this band as well.”

Jade grew up watching her parents perform in an ABBA tribute band. “I saw people crying and dancing to ABBA’s music, and the energy, the excitement, it really is the best thing imaginable. Pop music really can transcend everything negative.”

“We’ve been doing this for a long time individually, and even in our lowest points, we’ve not been able to quit the obsession or turn off the passion. I think that means we’re on the right path,” offers Lauren.

That joyful Blusher world is already proving a hit with fans, and while the band are ready to take this project “to the highest of highs,” they’re far more concerned with creating jubilant gigs right now. “Hopefully, people are able to find what they need in the music and that it offers positive energy,” says Miranda.

“There’ll be a time in our career to write a comedy musical and a time to teach other women how to produce,” adds Jade. “We’re so in it for the long haul, and we’re so excited to just yet see where it goes.” ■

Blusher’s debut EP ‘Should We Go Dance?’ is out now. Follow Dork’s Hype Spotify playlist here.