What? A true journeyman of the Northwest’s DIY music scene, the ever prolific Karl Blau is gearing up to release his latest album, Nature’s Got Away, which just might thrust this troubadour’s local legend up from underground. Whimsical, playful, endearing, and eclectic, Blau’s new set (his second full-length for K Records) is a loose and decidedly lo-fi collection steeped in ragged guitars, stabbing piano notes, Casio beats, winsome lyrics, and floating harmonies. Truth be told, the fresh full-length record is typically Blau — ever-changing and oozing personality and musicianship — yet arguable his most cohesive work yet.
Who? Blau, an outspoken proponent of creative freedom, all-ages shows, and musical community, has played with the likes of D+, Brothers Blau, Captain Fathom, Your Heart Breaks, and Phil Elverum (the Microphones/Mount Eerie), and has acted as touring guitarist, bassist, and backing vocalist for Nonesuch singer/songwriter Laura Viers. And Blau has released material on nearly as many labels, including Anacortes, WA’s Knw-Yr-Own Records, Marriage Records, International Pop Underground, and Whistler Records. However, Blau’s most frequented medium is Kelp Lunacy (formerly Kelp! Monthly), his subscription website through which he releases hundreds of songs, albums, EPs, and more. Click here to subscribe.
Fun Fact: As heard on Nature’s Got Away, Blau is an of-the-moment musician, never dwelling on precision in recording, but rather, utilizing the chaos and those around him. “If I’m recording and a siren is heard outside, I won’t get mad. Or if the neighbor kids are outside playing, I’ll ask them to come in and jam,” he tells KEXP. “Whoever comes by while I’m recording, I’ll try to incorporate them.”
Now Hear This: Karl Blau, “Mockingbird Diet” (DOWNLOAD MP3)