A few years ago Maureen Neer was living in Athens, Ohio a smallish college town secluded away in the middle of Appalachia. Though involved in the town’s healthy music scene Neer moved to Chicago to stretch her wings personally and musically. But the spirit of the Athens DIY scene lives on in Neer’s musical approach. The songwriter is involved in Young Camelot, a Chicago spot that hosts shows, theater performances, film screenings, gallery openings and her debut album as Bloodhype, is a late night bedroom recording project that involves electronica and indie rock that is based around Neer’s beguiling vocals.
Stream the Bloodhype album, which is out now on small UK label Fox Food records, and read a quick interview with Maureen below.
Noisey: As a college town and music town Athens may get overshadowed by Columbus. What’s it like?
Maureen Neer: Actually, I always thought Athens had a better music scene than Columbus. Athens is primed for it, precisely because it's college town--there's constantly new people bringing their music, and the community in Athens is extremely welcoming and eager to listen. Also, almost everyone in Columbus is busy obsessing over college football, and in Athens, free time is mostly spent partying. Parties need music! Not to say Columbus is a desert; there are some lovely Columbus weirdos who make stellar tunes.
The album shifts in style. “Wormzz” is a lot different to “I’ll Be Always”.
Bloodhype is my late night project. I normally start around 2 or 3 am, write, record, and mix the song before I pass out around 6 or 7. You can hear the mistakes, and it's definitely not mixed as well as it could be, but I'm ok with the wabi-sabi. The shifts in style are because the songs are representations of whatever I was feeling that night. Basically, Bloodhype is my diary. I scribble the songs down so fast, I honestly couldn't recreate them exactly if I wanted to.
How did you end up getting involved in a label from Mirfield UK?
I don't really remember why or how I found Fox Food Records, but at some point I started following them on Soundcloud and Facebook. James messaged me five months ago, but I'm so inattentive I didn't see it until recently. I gingerly emailed him back, and pretty instantly we were planning the release of this tape. It's still blowing my mind someone in the UK wants to put out my music.
Is “80s Action Film, Broken Heart Scene” about any particular film or scene?
Nope! Not directly at least. That song is actually one of the first songs I made after I moved to Chicago, so it's all about being homesick and wondering if I made a dumb mistake and missing someone who I knew I couldn't go back to. I felt exhausted and overwhelmed. But I called it that because something about it reminded me of
The mood, the atmosphere, the 80's synths…
'Bloodhype' is available now from Fox Food records.