Part of the fun of stepping into an old-time diner is getting swept away by love songs of decades past. Gems made in the 1940s like Lena Horne's "'Deed I Do" and Ella Fitzgerald's "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling" capture the casual exaltation of swooning in a crush's footsteps. What makes them resonate is a combination of simplicity and sincerity: Having a crush is an all-consuming weightlessness that leaves you flushed, no matter how fortuitous it may be. Yet the emotion these songs detail — flirtatious curiosity at minimum, adventitious infatuation at most — remains hard to articulate despite its universality. Indie-pop newcomers Blush are the latest heartsick songwriters who try to decode that feeling.
Darlings keyboardist and singer Maura Lynch formed Blush to write straightforward pop songs of her own. Joined by Andy Chugg (Pop. 1280), Jonathan Campolo (Pill) and Nick Campolo, Lynch combines a vintage bedroom sound with a timeless look at early-adulthood love. On "Baby Don't Blush," that takes shape in trying to control a newfound crush from getting out of hand. "When I look into your eyes / And I get that funny feeling / Oh, baby, don't say why," she sings. "All I gotta do is keep believing that someday our love will be true." A distant, lackadaisical whistle carries her wishful thinking into the clouds, a short-term solution to the yearning.
There's a reason Lynch's words barely constitute a paragraph. Like those who penned vintage love songs, she knows that words can't explain a feeling better than other sounds can, so "Baby Don't Blush" favors the latter. The song is all retro charm, full of lo-fi drumming and stringy lead guitar. Each member of Blush is on the same page, putting their brains on hold so that a singular rush of giddiness and collective carefree endearment guides their instruments. In its final moment, the song ushers in a wave of sunny, harmonized ooh-ing.
Blush is primed in the art of feel-good love stories. That's why "Baby Don't Blush" washes over you with the joy of a playground crush, as immediate as the rose-colored glow that tinted your cheeks years ago.
Blush's self-titled debut album comes out Dec. 8 via Arrowhawk Records.