Co-founded by Brian Harding and Amalie Braun back in 2011, indie pop duo Ex-Cops became blogosphere darlings with the release of their first two albums True Hallucinations and Daggers; in fact, the duo receive praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Vogue, MTV, Stereogum, Billboard, CNN, Gawker, Interview, Nylon, and Rolling Stone. Adding to a growing profile, the duo has had their music appear in a number of renowned TV shows including Shameless, Stalker, All Saints and others. And as a result of the attention the band has received over the years, Harding and Braun have worked with Ariel Pink, Daniel Johnston, and Billy Corgan, among others.
Harding’s solo side project Blond Ambition is a bit of a sonic departure as you’ll hear on the project’s debut single “Shasta.” As I was told in press notes, the project’s sound is a sugary confection of E.S.G., slinky Liquid Liquid and 77 Dead — and although that may well be true, to my ears I hear quite a bit of Station to Station and Low-era Bowie and 70s funk as congo-led percussion is paired with slinky bass line, bursts of ambient synths, a loose and boozy guitar solo with Harding’s falsetto. And while being breezy, percussive and summery, the song manages to be a sultry come on to a object of affection/desire/lust.