Indie rockers Blossoms are the latest talent to spring onto the scene, hailing from Stockport, nestled in the musical nirvana of Greater Manchester, and with their eponymous debut, the quintet have bloomed into one of the year’s hottest names to listen to after finishing fourth in BBC’s ‘Sound Of’ poll for 2016. Airtime from BBC Radio One, Two and Six, has showcased their unique canon of sounds mixed from various genres. Blossoms performed at BBC’s Radio One Big Weekend in Exeter earlier in the summer, where they were clearly one of the most eagerly anticipated acts of the day on the Introducing Stage. In a period where indie pop and rock acts are abundant, it’s easy to see why Blossoms have risen in popularity so quickly.
Named after a local pub in their hometown, the five blend familiar contemporary indie concepts with bold synthesizer chords straight from new wave 80s anthems. Yet, it’s refreshing to hear among heavier melodies, as heard straight off the mark on the opening, pining track ‘Charlemagne’, with its captivating, rhythmic synth and bass notes echoing Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Do I Wanna Know?’.
‘At Most a Kiss’ is the following number, again opting for unflinching synth notes to hook the listener from the go, alongside underlining jarring bass resulting in a catchy, rougher edge to the usual synthpop sound. Lyricist and frontman Tom Ogden sings with the attitude and passion of Alex Turner, especially evident in subsequent track ‘Getaway’, with its accompanying psychedelic music video, and its desperate repetition of line ‘don’t say it’s the last time’.
Frontman Tom ogden sings with the attitude and passion of Alex turner
‘Honey Sweet’ is up next, smoothly moving into number four on the album and the fourth consecutive single on the album from the group, and it’s no surprise here that Ogden has been compared to vocalists Van McCann and Richard Ashcroft (Catfish and the Bottlemen and The Verve).
A simple piano melody opens ‘Onto Her Bed’ before it fades out, a softer track which abandons the preceding energetic instrumentals as the album approaches its halfway point. ‘Texia’ recovers from the subdued previous track and regains its distinctive Blossoms synth rock charm, echoing ‘Miracle Aligner’ from The Last Shadow Puppets.
Released a year before the album, single ‘Blown Rose’ is more psychedelic with its experimental instruments, and yet just as catchy and festival friendly as the treasure chest of singles the band have collected so far. Contrastingly, ‘Smashed Pianos’ has R&B hints as it begins, with slightly dreamy, distant melodic drumming leading into Ogden’s reflective lyrics.
‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’ packs a synthy punch on a par with the headlining tracks early on in the album, proving once again that indie rock can gamble with a synthesizer and win. ‘My Favourite Room’ takes on a more acoustic tone, an intimate ballad with softer notes of guitar and piano in contrast to its predecessors.
Once again, the five are always quick to make up after a mellower track, and ‘Blow’ brushes away any traces of a gentler sound with its jarring bass, before presenting final number ‘Deep Grass’, which solidifies the genre bending, decade-hopping signature Blossoms have managed to so skilfully create and master.