Check Out The New Video From Du Blonde – ‘Raw Honey’
‘Raw Honey’ is the new single taken from Du Blonde’s new album, Welcome Back To Milk.
Cinematography- Caroline Rosalie Brouard and Jess Roberts
Beth Jeans Houghton (a.k.a. Du Blonde) is a Newcastle upon Tyne-born singer, songwriter, musician and visual artist who plays her own music influenced bypsychedelic rock, punk, blues, 70s folk and soul. Her main instrument is electric guitar; however she also plays piano and bass.
Beth Jeans Houghton was born into a family of music-lovers. Her mother, a graphic designer, played bass guitar and ukelele in folk clubs, while her father, also a designer, was a Frank Zappa fan. Houghton started writing songs in her teens. At sixteen she left school and bought herself a Fender Stratocaster, which she taught herself to play.
Houghton first appeared in front of an audience in 2006; her debut release, titled EP (a limited-edition 7”), was on Bird Records in 2008. She signed then with Static Caravan Recordings, which released the single “Golden”/”Nightswimmer”, produced by Adem, and her second EP, Hot Toast, Vol. 1 (produced by Mike Lindsay of the band Tunng), both of which earned acclaim from the UK press. After a year-and-a-half of performing solo, Houghton enlisted musicians Dav Shiel (drums), Edward Blazey (guitar, trumpet), Rory Gibson (bass), Findlay McAskill (violin) and Calum Howard (keys), to play live and on her first full-length record, as The Hooves of Destiny. Houghton signed in early 2011 with Mute Records, releasing her debut long-player in early 2012. The album was recorded with Ben Hillier whose previous production credits include Blur, Depeche Mode and Elbow.
After two years of “heartbreaking” delays the album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose by Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny was released on 6 February 2012 and reached number 83 in the UK Albums Chart. “I set out to make a record unaffected by outside opinions and I was happy to watch it grow in different directions. And yes, I am happy with the results; there is not a thing I would change,” she said in a 7digital interview.
Houghton and the Hooves of Destiny toured the UK and Europe extensively during 2011 and 2012, appearing at multiple festivals including Glastonbury, The Great Escape, Latitude and Bestival. In April 2012, the band performed on Later… with Jools Holland alongside Paul Weller and Willis Earl Beal.
In November 2012, Houghton and her band flew to Los Angeles, California, to record their second album at The Boat studio in Silverlake. However, after initial sessions going well, Houghton became disenchanted with the sound of the new album and the sessions were cancelled.
Houghton spent the next nine months travelling around America, always returning to Los Angeles which had by this point become her spiritual home. During this time, she reevaluated her musical direction, and continued to write. Houghton returned to the UK in September 2013 with the intention to begin the sessions for her second album, this time as a solo artist.
Houghton has said the decision to take the new direction came at the V&A, in the final room of the ‘David Bowie Is…’ exhibition. “When I was a kid, my idea of being a musician came from all these big characters – Bowie, Bolan, Beefheart… I had this moment in front of all these chapters of his life: this is what I want to do and I haven’t done it for all of these years. All this stuff that was really important to me in the beginning, all of the creativity, emotional expulsion, I’d just lost all of that. It was such a sad moment, but also good – because you can’t change it unless you realise”, she said.
Welcome Back To Milk, the debut album for Houghton as Du Blonde, recorded in London and Los Angeles with producer Jim Sclavunos, was set for release on May 19, 2015, by Mute Records. It has garnered generally favourable reviews, with 75/100 rating at Metacritic.
Beth Jeans Houghton’s first releases leaned more towards Psychedelic folk and soul, with elements of Blues, Punk and Psych Rock. However, the press’s insistence on defining her as an ‘anti-folk’ artist, with comparisons to other female artists at the time,frustrated Houghton as she felt these comparisons bore no resemblance to her style and gave no credit to her real influences – music of the 60’s and 70’s, garage, punk, classical, West Coast psych etc.
Her artwork consists mostly of portraits, illustrations and paintings on canvas, but she tends to make use of whatever is at hand. Her style cannot be pinned down and she has displayed a love of realistic painting, comic book illustration, collage and sculpture.
She is a keen photographer, using both digital and film cameras. She also films and edits her own music videos using Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro.
In 2013 Houghton suffered from anxiety: “In the moment the nervous breakdown was actually happening, I thought, ‘either I’m dying or I’m going to be sectioned for the rest of my life’.” Of her practice ofTranscendental Meditation, begun at this time, she said, “To now know confidently I can deal with my anxiety is such a good place to be.”