Blee’s Separated Thoughts consists of hanbee and Haku. With vocals and lyrics by hanbee and arrangements by Haku, the duo create melodic indie pop music, warm and welcoming to the ears. Separated Thoughts is the first EP by Blee with two previous singles released in 2020. These songs also appear on Separated Thoughts as new versions with three new tracks. More recently, the band welcomed two more members to become a four piece.
The music of Blee is very comfortable. Haku’s arrangements are breezy and simple. The welcoming melodies use guitar, bass, programmed drums, and synth together to create engaging verses. When you add hanbee’s vocals, everything comes together. “dip – ver.ii” is a summer track that fits a drive on a highway to a vacation. The moderate tempo is controlled through the drum loop and bass line. Guitars serve as verse accents to support hanbee’s vocals. The chorus on “dip – ver.ii” is where everything shines. It’s like getting sunshine between clouds.
“out in the dark” is one of two lead singles and does a great job presenting a more formal introduction. It has a stronger tone to the previous singles even though it uses a similar style. Even though the drums are programmed, they have one of the most organic feelings to match the band’s style. Even though the band thrives in indie pop, there’s an almost surf rock comfort with how ends of verses have smaller accents before falling into the next beat.
It’s clear that the older singles included on Separated Thoughts were growth moments in how the pair worked to create music. The new songs on the EP have a higher polish and direction. Blee sounds more confident and explores different audio territories. “bubbles” at the introduction make a bigger impression with the quick crescendo into the verse melody. The programmed drums use a slightly different set of samples going for an electronic pop set. It changes the tone from indie pop to electronic pop even with other instruments following similar arrangements. Even hanbee’s vocals effortlessly match the instrumentals.
Blee close Separated Thoughts with a R&B-lite track with “sleepless.” Founded on a different groove, the song’s rhythm also lets hanbee move away from a simple vocal rhythm where she’s almost dancing. I wonder if this might become a more prominent style for Blee going forward.
Separated Thoughts is a look back at Blee’s beginnings and also a step in their future. The mix of songs is solid, highlighting the pair’s strong song creation ability. Even with indie pop guiding most movement, Blee are able to explore and touch new styles to keep everything fresh. Separated Thoughts is a palette cleanser and hints at greater music in the future.