Blondshell doesn’t care if you know she’s angry


Sabrina Teitelbaum got the message. All the messages, really. That expressions of anger weren’t particularly feminine. That only certain emotions were acceptable for women. That some thoughts were too taboo to vocalize.

And Teitelbaum, known professionally as the alt-rock musician Blondshell, is done with those messages now.

Teitelbaum, 26, moved to Los Angeles almost eight years ago and was quickly pulled into the allure of the indie pop movement that had taken over the scene. Artists like Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Halsey captured her attention, but her real love was rock. “It took me a minute to feel like I could have the confidence to do what I really wanted to do,” Teitelbaum said in a phone interview from her Los Angeles apartment.

Before Teitelbaum was Blondshell, she leaned into pop music with her persona BAUM. When the pandemic hit, Teitelbaum unearthed her authentic sound. During the boredom of the covid-19 isolation, Teitelbaum began honing her guitar skills to help her branch into rock music. She grew more comfortable with heavy guitar parts and exploring a more rock-forward sound.

In “Salad,” a track on her new, self-titled album, Teitelbaum belts, “And it wouldn’t be so bad / It wouldn’t hurt the world / Look what you did / You’ll make a killer of a Jewish girl.” With overtly murderous lyrics, the song centers on the pain and injustice women are subjected to and is ignited by the righteous anger those feelings invoke.

“I think I grew up, like a lot of women, feeling [that] anger isn’t a cute emotion,” said Teitelbaum, who decided with “Salad,” “I am going to let myself be really angry in a song because I no longer care if that’s acceptable.”

Teitelbaum is done hiding her emotions. “Salad” is a release in the way that all the songs on “Blondshell” are, though they range in emotions from lusty (“Kiss City”) to nostalgic (“Veronica Mars”). “It just felt really urgent and felt like I needed to get feelings out,” said Teitelbaum.

Now that she’s started on the rock path, Teitelbaum has no plans to stop. “I want to keep making music that’s inspired by [rock] and inspired by heavy guitar parts,” she said. “I think when I was making this, I was so excited to just make a rock album, and now I want to get more experimental.”

July 22 at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. Sold out.


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