Blanche Blanche Blanche

Blanche Blanche Blanche were an experimental pop group centered around songwriters Sarah Delaney Smith and Zach Phillips, with contributions from several additional musicians during live performances. Their hyperkinetic home-recorded tunes combined complex arrangements played on chintzy old keyboards with Smith’s deadpan yet sentimental vocals, all delivered with a healthy dose of absurdity. Initially based in Brattleboro, Vermont, the duo first collaborated as Sord, releasing a few cassettes on Phillips’ OSR Tapes label beginning in 2007. BBB’s first release was Songs of Blanche Blanche Blanche, a cassette issued by Night People in 2011. The 7″ single “Talk Out Loud” also appeared on Feeding Tube Records that year. The group’s first vinyl LP, Wink with Both Eyes, appeared on Night People in April of 2012, and received a considerable amount of acclaim from indie music websites and blogs. The restlessly creative group released several more albums that year, including Papas Proof (La Station Radar), one-sided LP 2wice 2wins and Our Place (both on Feeding Tube), and Open Session Rock (on OSR Tapes).

Following these releases, the group switched to a full-band sound, embracing guitars and live drums, and their music had more of a paranoid punk edge to it, but with the group’s usual Zappa-inspired knotty arrangements. The 7″ single “Scam” (credited to B B B and the Birds of Paradise) appeared on German label Adagio830 in early 2013. Wooden “Ball” appeared on Vermont-based NNA Tapes that March; the album still retained their keyboard-based sound, but with tighter musicianship and slightly more socially conscious lyrics. The group relocated to Brooklyn and recorded Breaking Mirrors, their first studio recording as well as the first album by the group’s full-band lineup. BBB contributed to Fits & Starts, an album by percussionist David Van Tieghem, which was released by RVNG Intl. The band recorded its final full-length, Hints to Pilgrims, in Brooklyn; mastered by Kramer, the album appeared on OSR Tapes in 2014. The label also issued Termite Music, a two-hour cassette of live recordings and unreleased songs. Blanche Blanche Blanche ceased recording and performing in 2014, and Phillips continued to run OSR Tapes as an “offline” label through mail-order catalogs (although the label did continue to have an online presence). He also continued to release solo cassettes and produce/engineer recordings by other artists, and he contributed Wurlitzer piano to Jib Kidder’s Teaspoon to the Ocean. (AllMusic)