The first Blair French track, "Before Mornings Arrival," appeared on John Beltran's Music For Machines compilation last year. Now Beltran's digital label, Dado Records, which is said to be "focused on the development of film- and television-friendly music," is co-releasing French's debut album. Through The Blinds is undoubtedly quiet music with the ambitions of a soundtrack. French clearly has a scene in mind for each track, and most sound like what their titles imply. "Star Dust" has a luminous tone that rises like the moon. The chimes of "Winter Frost" swirl around keening strings like plastic flakes in a snow globe. "Before Mornings Arrival" returns with its lonely electronic pulses, flickering before the sound of distant birdsong drifts in.
This is very much incidental music. The closest Through The Blinds comes to drama is the entrance of tremulous strings on the title track, or the processed voice sighing, "It doesn't look the same from here," on "Silver Ink And The Rotating Sun." Otherwise, the music sounds as if made from a palette of pale and blurry watercolours, and is sometimes too obsessed with prettiness. When French tries to smear touches of distortion into the end of "Last Of A Fading Memory," it only makes the track's central piano sound more celestial in contrast. As the album tiptoes towards its conclusion, it does indeed feel like glimpses "through the blinds"—enticing and intriguing in parts, yet unlikely to linger in the memory.