Mini Blinds won over the hearts and ears of Portland with their 2016 debut EP, Air Signs, which followed the trail blazed by K Records bands (it includes a cover of Beat Happening’s “Angel Gone”). On standout tracks like “Witch Girl” and “Starfish,” Beth Ann Dear and Devin Welch found the perfect indie pop alchemy with analog drum-machine beats, fortifying bass lines, dreamy riffs emanating from vintage guitars and amps, and Dear’s candy-coated, layered vocal harmonies.
The Portland band’s lineup has since expanded to include keyboardist/backup vocalist Graye Guidotti and drummer Maxwell William. Though their new EP Dust is quite short, at just four songs, in less than 20 minutes Mini Blinds overhauls the expectations built off their debut and introduces a completely new sound.
The shoegaze-leaning EP’s best moments include the woozy synth on the title track and “Rude Life,” the serpentine guitars on “Let It Fade,” and the rattling percussion on the ghostly closer “Ashes.” The only letdown for fans of Air Signs might be the loss of their twee drum-machine beats, and the fact that Dear’s voice is sometimes obscured by the loudness of the filled-out band, which can make her lyrics difficult to decipher. But overall, Dust is a good omen for Mini Blinds—a short but mighty statement of purpose that reintroduces one of the city’s favorite bands.