Self-Care is Punk: An Interview with The Blushes

by - October 25, 2022

In what feels like another lifetime, Katie Earl-Hogan, Katy Rose and Lori Dorfman came together during a middle school musical theater camp. They have been performing together and separate for the better part of their lives and always kept in touch throughout their careers. When they found themselves together again in the midst of a global pandemic, there was only one thing to do: start a band.

One night, Dorfman saw Earl-Hogan standing on her balcony in a robe and immediately began to sing about it. Rose joined in while Earl-Hogan finished getting ready, and a few days later they all got together to hash it out. It turned into their debut single, “Me Time”.

While they had a potential single, they needed a band name. The Blushes was one that Dorfman had written in one of her notebooks and kept coming back to. They wanted a name that exuded authenticity and fit all of their personalities. They loved the interpretation of blushing cheeks, flushed skin; a feminine expectation of sweetness that then smashes that notion on the head.

“Especially as women in the music business and in the entertainment business, you do have to be tough but you can also be kind and supportive,” Earl-Hogan said. “Women don't have to be pitted against each other. You can be an empathetic woman but still have a boundary and be strong.”

“For us, self-care is punk,” Dorfman adds. “Caring for your needs is punk. Having your boundaries is punk as shit. Loving yourself is punk as fuck. That's the world that we create with each other, the three of us together, and that's also the world we want to bring people into and the message that we want to send.”

“Me Time” is a prime example of that message. On the surface, it is a cute song about applying face masks and enjoying a night in while wearing a comfortable robe. When the layers are peeled back, it encourages female empowerment. They want every woman to say what they need and not feel guilty about it.

“We really are interested in insourcing our authority,” Dorfman said. “We went through all of our careers where the authority is outside of ourselves. ‘Me Time’ really takes a lot of power back into our hands and insources our personal authority and our personal autonomy and our personal singular solitude as individual women.”

What is unique about “Me Time” and their upcoming singles is that the greater Los Angeles area has been hearing them live for the past year. Musicians do not typically get the opportunity to workshop their songs before recording them, but by saying yes to any show that came their way, The Blushes were able to build on their music and live performances at the same time.

They have also found a music scene of female and queer artists that are expressing themselves in an equally authentic way. Their first performances as The Blushes was very much trial and error, not only because they hadn’t performed like this before, but because they were all trying different instruments. Earl-Hogan had never played drums in a band. Rose had always been a guitar player, never a bass player. Dorfman had never played in a rock band. They were learning on the job, and while it was nerve wracking, they had an entire community supporting them from day one.

“This sense of camaraderie and support, which was so lacking in female communities for such a long time, is just so inspiring and so hopeful, especially after coming out of such a hard time,” Rose said.

Their support system, with each other and with their community, means so much to The Blushes. They are wildly encouraging, inspiring one another to be the best versions of themselves. If their debut single is any indication of what to expect from them, get ready for the latest girl power movement.

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