Charly Bliss: “We do our best work when we have to figure shit out”

Charly Bliss’ celebratory breakup anthem ‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ might just be your new favourite pop hit. Read our latest Dork Playlist cover feature now.

Words: Jessica Goodman.
Photos: Dan Bassini.

“I first had the idea for the chorus when I was riding an ATV through the rainforest,” Eva laughs. “So that was great.” Yes, dear readers, Charly Bliss are back, Back, BACK! and they’ve got a brand new single in tow. A celebratory breakup anthem that rocks as hard as it bops, ‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ might just be your new favourite pop hit.

“This song, I think, is very funny, in some ways,” Eva describes, laughing as she recalls her now-fiancé’s reaction to hearing the band write it. Joyously freewheeling, ‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ is a tongue-in-cheek ode to the ridiculous relationships we go through and getting it all wrong. If you could hear the viral photos of Nicole Kidman leaving her lawyer’s office after finalising her divorce in 2001, this is probably what they’d sound like.

The song arrives complete with a music video that sees the group inhabiting a clay-made Bliss Bar, where the house band Bliss 182 perform while a cast of characters (played by the band) look for love through the tried-and-tested formula of speed dating. If Whose Line Is It Anyway’s worst dating service skit had been dreamed up on psychedelics, it might look a little bit like this.

“I think my bandmates are the funniest people on planet Earth,” Eva asserts. “The saddest part for me about making the video was not getting to be in the room while they were doing all those ridiculous things.” Filming her parts from Australia while the rest of the group filmed theirs in New York, the result is a world entirely of the band’s own making.

While Eva bought out her local craft store’s supply of clay and built this world by hand, Dan, Spencer, and Sam got to work creating their characters of a money analyst, a pickup artist, and a sexy magician. “We were just having a blast,” Sam laughs. “It was just like, let’s just have fun and trust that it’ll come together. Luckily, it did.”

After taking a more cinematic approach with the music videos that accompanied their most recent album, ‘Young Enough’, ‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ is a return to the character-driven DIY chaos that shaped their earlier offerings. “It felt cool to go back to when we first started the band,” Sam recalls, “going back to being super DIY, doing everything on the cheap, just make it fun and see what happens.”

“I think it’s honestly where we thrive,” Eva agrees. “I mean, it’d be great to have the money,” she laughs, “but for better or for worse, I think we really do our best work when we have to figure shit out. And it was so much fun to figure out.”

“Not that day,” Sam laughs when asked if he learned any magic tricks for his role as a magician, “but over the pandemic. For some reason, Instagram’s algorithm discovered that I like magic…” A self-proclaimed master of sleight-of-hand, he disguises his humble brag that, “I learned a bunch of new tricks” behind a faux-modest shrug. “Eva’s always willing to humour me. Spencer and Dan are just like, ‘Oh my god, he’s doing magic again’.”

As for whether that might make an appearance at their live shows one day? Well, if Eva’s excitement at the idea is anything to go by, it’s not something either of them would be against. “This is it,” Sam proclaims. “This is how we take it to the next level” (neither Spencer nor Dan were present to comment).

The music video isn’t all they’ve created. For anyone who feels they may be entitled to a new boyfriend, is here to help. Set up an account by answering a few personal questions and have a brand new dating profile created for you. Then sit back, and – as Bliss-Finder™ itself promises – “watch how quickly your life can change.”

‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ is the second new song Charly Bliss have shared this year, following the much-anticipated ‘You Don’t Even Know Me Anymore’, their first new non-Christmas material since 2019. “So much has changed in our personal lives since then,” Sam reflects. “I’ve had two kids. Eva moved to Australia. Everyone’s doing different things. To come together and be back on the road just felt like no time had passed. We just picked up right where we left off.”

Venturing out on tour across the US earlier this year, their time spent on the road was nothing short of triumphant. Taking to the stage at Colorado’s iconic Red Rocks amphitheatre, inviting a couple of fans to join them on stage for “a beautiful, sweaty proposal” during “the hottest show we’ve played in a long time” in New York, and getting matching band tattoos, Charly Bliss are well and truly back in their element.

“You interact with your fans in one way, and you know that they exist, that people care about your band somewhere in the world, in theory,” Eva describes of what it felt like to finally get back out on tour. “To then be in front of a room full of our fans and people who’ve supported us and stayed with us for so long, and new fans and people who’ve never gotten a chance to see us before? There’s nothing more inspiring than that.”

Their time on the road wasn’t just a chance to get back to the basics of being in a band, but also a first outing for some brand new material. It’s been a long time coming (a very long time), but we can finally say that CB3 is, at long last, coming soon.

“It’s been, by far, the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Eva enthuses. The as-of-yet unannounced new album was written and recorded over the past few years, in part while the band was split between the US and Australia. At the time of doing this interview, the group report they’re just about to go into the studio to finish the record once and for all.

“I think the vibe for the last record lyrically was very, let me go into the deepest part of myself and rip out the most painful thing possible and purge this,” Eva describes. “I think the vibe for this record is way more like the things that you say surrounded by your friends when you catch yourself making a joke, but it’s truer than you could have said if you were trying to say the most accurate thing about what you’re going through.”

Excitement within the group for what they’re gearing up to share with the world is at an all-time high. “It just feels like our number one goal is to have fun,” Sam enthuses. “For the first time ever, it feels like we are totally unafraid to go for what we really want to sound like, and we’re not afraid of what people will think or how it will be received. We’re just like, ‘This is what we want to do.’ And we’re doing it.”

“It’s been, by far, the most fun I’ve ever had making a record”

Eva Hendricks

With everything to achieve and nothing to prove, Charly Bliss are about to take the world by storm. They’re keeping tight-lipped about their release plans for now but assure us that a date has been set. “We can officially say, with confidence, that it really is coming soon,” Eva grins. “2024 is going to be a big Charly Bliss year.”

As for what comes next? “Party vibes,” Eva exclaims. “Best new music in the world.” And yes, there will be another instalment of their reality show, Ignorance Is Bliss. For the moment, they’re busy planning the album art and tour looks that will reintroduce them to the world in this new era.

“It’s taken us a long time to get this record out for multiple reasons,” Eva says. “I think the most beautiful thing about all of that has just been the tremendous appreciation that we feel for one another.” Touring together for nine months out of the year, as they did around the release of ‘Young Enough’, isn’t always easy. Their devotion to their friendships and to keeping what they do together fun is part of what makes Charly Bliss who they are.

“We’ve been a band for a long time, and the thing that I’m most proud of, by far, is how much we still adore each other and can’t get enough of each other,” Eva asserts. Their matching tattoos (the initials CB on their arms) are a testament to this. The way they can’t wait to crowd into a vehicle and spend much of next year on the road together again is too.

“You don’t always really know whether your music is reaching the people who care about it,” Eva contemplates of releasing new music into the world. Knowing it can be all too easy to get caught up in stats and figures and streams and followers doesn’t stop it from happening, but for Charly Bliss, making music has always been about connection. “When people reach out and you can see that connection, it’s so affirming,” Eva describes. “Not just as a band, obviously that’s a beautiful feeling, but personally too.”

“This music that we make is the truest embodiment of who we are at the time that we’re making it,” she continues. “So when people get it and respond to it and connect with you on it, it’s profound.” And that is what it’s all about. Whether it’s by crowding into a dark venue with strangers for a gig or by singing into a hairbrush as you get ready to go out, Charly Bliss’ music is made for you to connect with.
“I just want to be back. I’m ready to be back,” Sam enthuses. “We’re back, baby!” ■

Charly Bliss’ single ‘I Need A New Boyfriend’ is out now. Follow Dork Playlist on Spotify here.