Blindness - pic Pink Soldiers London
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley
Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley

Blindness are fabulous purveyors of ‘electro-filth’, and have been ratcheting up excitement on the live scene before releasing their debut album ‘Wrapped In Plastic’ on Saint Marie Records. It’s seductive dark-wave electro-pop with incredible guitar, taking sonic tips from The Jesus and Mary Chain as well as My Bloody Valentine and with the hook sensibility of PJ Harvey. Blindness are Beth Rettig (vocals, programming, noise), Emma Quick (bass, noise), and Debbie Smith (guitar, feedback, noise) ex Curve, Echobelly, and Snowpony guitarist.


Blindness - Wrapped In Plastic


Blindness’s debut album has been greeted with excitement and acclaim - they’ve been building up a fanbase with their live shows, a highlight of the London live scene.

Beth Rettig is a fiercely charismatic front woman whose addictive honey-toned vocals create drama, and are set against Debbie Smith’s superb guitar sound, in turns shimmering and distorted. With Emma Quick’s fuzz-laden bass, and Beth’s powerful beats, it’s a winning sound.

So how do they write their songs?

DS: It’s a secret and magical ritual. We’d have to kill you after we’d told you.

What do you write about?

BR: Whatever’s in my head. How I feel - about myself, other people, stuff that’s going on. Sometimes I wish I could be a storyteller, like Kate Bush or Nick Cave and others.

We’ve seen you live a few times, it’s always a great show. How important is it to play live and road test your songs?

DS: Very. Playing new songs live is exciting and also nerve-wracking as you never know what’s going to go over well with the audiences. Lucky for us, our audience seem to appreciate them.

BR: Playing live is important for me because I love it and I find it kind of therapeutic. It’s good to play new songs live, not just to road test them and keep the set interesting for people coming to the gigs but because it keeps things exciting (and a little nerve-wracking) for us.

Recording the album

How did you record the album, where and who with?

BR: This is a tricky one. The album was kind of recorded all over the place, really. It was a case of when we could do it and when we could afford to do it. Some tracks were recorded at Gun Factory with Marc Waterman, some at Zed One in Camden. Some of the drums were recorded in this weird old building (I think it was an old Olympic Committee building or something) in South London with Jim King and some parts were recorded in our living rooms. Some of the guitar parts are from the first time Deb and I got together to record in, I can’t even remember when, 2008?

Did you use any unusual techniques or instruments/sounds on the album?

BR: I don’t know about unusual. I’ve spent a lot of time with some of Debbie’s guitar parts (and occasionally my vocals) doing a lot of time-stretching, reversing etc. Just seeing what effects we can get.

DS: Not so much. Volume and general abuse of guitar strings.

Blindness - pic Terry Tyldesley

What has signing with Saint Marie meant for the band to help launch and promote the album?

DS: Well, they had been interested in signing us for some time but we never got around to it what with one thing and another. Once we’d finished recording I asked Wyatt Parkin (head honcho at SMR) if he fancied putting it out - luckily he wanted to. They paid for it to be pressed and got us distribution and quite a lot of press, so it has been incredibly helpful. Thanks Wyatt!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

DS: We’re going to play a few more gigs here and there, but we really want to get stuck into recording some new material now. It won’t be seven years before you hear it this time!

BR: Yeah, gigs and recording. I imagine some ale will be consumed between now and the end of the year.