Blvck Hippie

Blvck Hippie is a Sad Boy Indie Rock Band from Memphis, TN tryna show Black kids they can be weird too.

If you listen through If You Feel Alone At Parties you’ll hear a restlessness woven into the fabric of the songs. From the angular, affected guitar to the pensive vocals, Josh Shaw (he/him) invites us into a Sad Boy Indie Rock world that feels nostalgic and pioneering at the same time. It’s a search for home in musical form, led by Shaw’s acute lyrics and ardent playing.

It’s funny we study hard just to come up last
The world hits you hard when you don’t run fast
If we are the same but I’m empty and alone
The least you could do is answer your phone

– from “Art School”

Tracked over a three day weekend in Memphis, If You Feel Alone At Parties showcases Shaw’s conversational, intuitive songwriting. Blvck Hippie has been recommended “if you’re a fan of The Strokes but like your songs a little more moody” (from The Strait). However, there’s a vast array of influences that flow through the songs on If You Feel Alone At Parties. Crediting Kanye West and Kid Cudi for inspiring him as a Black artist to always make something different, Shaw has pushed himself forward with this record. And this artistic growth is audible in the mix. With a rotating cast of bandmates, Blvck Hippie crafts a sound bigger and brasher than the sum of its parts.The guitar tones reinvent 80s dream pop sounds, while the rhythms are infused with an R&B consciousness. It’s a balancing act that Shaw & Co perform with aplomb. Never sounding derivative, the band delivers a fully-formed indie rock sound on its first full length.

You say these parties are all the same
While you’re too drunk to know my name
You wish he’d still pick up his phone
I’m way to drunk and so alone

– from “If You Feel Alone At Parties”

Since the first Blvck Hippie single released in 2018, Shaw has invited listeners into his inner world. The lyrics on this record are reminiscent of the afterparty conversations and menthol-infused musings that dominate DIY scenes across America. But, these are not merely drunken sentences strung together in post-show afterglow. Shaw offers us insights into his mind and his life, looking to make a true, emotional connection with the listener. Escapism, loneliness, grief – it’s all here in Shaw’s vulnerable couplets. On “Bunkbed,” he sings, “I guess we’re all grown up we’re grown up now / Two dumb kids too poor to pay rent / So promise me we won’t change in a year or two and promise me I won’t stop missing you / Missing you.” Shaw is a dreamer, always looking for sparks. The characters that inhabit his songs feel real, as if he is bringing scenes from his life into the songs. You can almost smell the PBR and the cigarette smoke as Shaw recounts the details of his life.

In tears you watched me drink until my demons appear
Keep your voice low this time I care what they hear
I’m still stumbling down the hallway I swear it felt like home
To be angry at myself for feeling oh so alone

– from “Technicolor”

Shaw takes the audience on a “VHS-inspired” journey through his mind. Searching for catharsis, Shaw’s off-kilter guitar playing and honest songwriting coalesce into the Sad Boy Indie Rock songs of your dreams. With the world slowly opening back up after an isolated year, Blvck Hippie have plans to take these songs on the road in the fall. Great things are on the horizon for Shaw & Co. Are you listening?