The Rocks Off 100: Michelle Miears of BLSHS, Siren In the Machine
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
We love us some sweet, sad synth-pop here on Rocks Off, and were very pleased to make the acquaintance of Michelle Miears and her band of beep-and-boop-iteersBLSHS
(pronounced Blushes). They've got the same MIDI-magic that make Bang Bangz one of the best acts in Houston, and part of that reason is the fact that Miears has a voice like some sort of mythical seductress. It's a high, soft wail that if you heard coming over the Irish countryside, you'd be certain meant someone had died.
Miears has been obsessed with music from an early age, and her grandparents were in a country band called The Sparklers. Her grandmother taught her the basics of the keyboard. Yet she was too shy to show off her pipes in anything but private until her brother enticed her into doing backup vocals in his electro hip-hop group, ZolotiNatioN in 2011. The experience gave her the confidence to pursue vocals more forcefully.
Her piano teacher introduced her to Chris Gore and Rick Carruth earlier this year; the three clicked instantly and began blending Carruth's '80s drum machine beats with Gore's synths and bass guitar lines to craft an inventive and potent mixture of the electronic and the organic. They're currently working on their first EP.
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Home Base: BLSHS sets up shop in Gore's home in Katy, which sports a fully flushed out music room full of equipment. Miears crafts her lyrics whenever the inspiration strikes her, but tends to do her best work with instrumental tracks playing as she drives. She likes the privacy of singing in the car, which lends itself well to experimentation.
Miears hasn't had the widest range of gigs so far, but does enjoy open-mikes at the Country Playhouse. She's looking forward to playing Fitzgerald's for the first time Friday.
Why Do You Stay in Houston? Two other passions besides music keeps Miears here in H-Town. One is her family, especially her young brother in The Woodlands. She likes to be close to him. She is also very involved with the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, and volunteers every weekend.
Good War Story: "My experience with stage fright as a whole is what I would consider to be an ongoing war story," she says. "I still battle nerves when singing in public to this day, but I find that the best way to overcome this fear is to keep pushing through it, and perform anyway."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Enya, A Day Without Rain
- Ellie Goulding, Lights
- Paramore, Riot
- Imogen Heap, Speak for Yourself
- La Roux, La Roux
Best Show Ever: "The best show I ever played was at the Lonestar Pavilion in Lubbock, TX," says Miears. "I was singing with ZolotiNatioN and we opened for DMX, and played for about 500 people. This was only my second time to sing in public, and it was the biggest rush that I had ever experienced in my life.
The day lasted from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning between setup, sound check, performance, and teardown, but it was one of the best days of my life."
"I enjoyed every bit of the experience, including the 20-degree weather leaking through the walls of the venue," she continues. "It all added to the rawness and excitement of the experience, for me. The crowd had great energy, and we nailed our set. I felt really proud of my brother and co-singer as well -- we made a great team."
First Song You Fell in Love With: "I would say 'Orinoco Flow' by Enya," she says. "This song, for me, evoked very positive emotions and memories of times with my family. My mom always played Enya for us in the car when we were little, and I can remember feeling very compelled to sing even at that age, because the song was so beautiful to me.
BLSHS plays Fitzgerald's Friday, July 5 with Recovery Room, Another Run, A Thousand Colours, and Born Again Virgins.
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
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