The Blow The Concussive Caress

The fact that Khaela Maricich's first proper effort as the Blow is alternatively titled Casey Caught Her Mom Singing Along with the Vacuum should be enough to win you over. But that quirky additive is simply icing because the 11 tracks in this little gem are totally fucking fabulous. She's got a bunch of lo-fi baby electronic indie pop pieces, like the intriguing opening crooner "How Naked are We Going to Get," the second track of "Sweetheart," (the song is divided into two tracks —?!) and the smart, faux-hip-hopping "What Tom Said About Girls." Her brief interruptions of beautifully flawed guitar songs like "Night Full of Open Eyes," the heartbreaking "Nothing" and the gorgeous string-laden ender, "The Warriors' Hearts," feel like they could be the most meaningful and important things you'll ever hear — a quiet, intimate moment that you feel lucky being privy to. In fact, every damn song is completely choice — slyly innocent stream-of-consciousness mini-narratives, playful beats, deftly crafted melodies, and an addictive honesty all pile on in their relative ways and develop throughout the course of the album to end up as nothing less than ace. You'll probably want to propose, but pretending these love songs are just for you will come almost as near to perfect. (K)