Manchester 5-piece indie rock band, Blossoms, released their debut album on 5th August; an album eagerly awaited by many.
Prior to the release, this quintet have made a considerable number of festival appearances this summer, perhaps the most memorable of which being a mainstage slot at Truck Festival, or their incredibly strong performance at T in the Park, on the BBC Radio 1 stage. The band are also set to play Boardmasters, as well as the infamous Reading & Leeds Festival later this year.
Their self-titled album has done a commendable job at showcasing the strengths of the band; incredible melodies, energetic and dominant riffs, as well as the somewhat notable, catchy lyrics that Tom Ogden delivers beautifully. Later in the album, the bands softer, lighter tracks such as ‘Onto Her Bed’ and ‘Deep Grass’ also demonstrate the immense skill Myles Kellock brings to the table, with the dreamy synth and keyboard parts.
The first two songs on the album, ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘At Most A Kiss’, had both been previously released, and are perhaps the main reason for the large fan base the band have already quickly acquired. I appreciate how the album opens with the familiar upbeat, and arguably the most well-known, tracks, setting a promising tone for the rest of the album.
The following two songs, have been released as EP’s more recently. ‘Getaway’ and ‘Honey Sweet’ emit a slower, more relaxed vibe in comparison to the first two energetic tracks.
Most of the rest of the album is comprised of new songs, including ‘Onto Her Bed’, ‘Texia’ and ‘Smashed Pianos’. These allow the listener to hear a slightly different, unrevealed side to this up and coming band.
A personal favourite of mine is ‘My Favourite Room’. Aside from the evidently catchy tune, the lyrics are what really completes this track for me, but hey, that is personal opinion due to the relatability factor. I also appreciate how it appears on the album, just before the track ‘Blow’. This contrast between the slower ballad, and the high-powered follow on demonstrates the wide range emotions the band manage to capture within their tracks.
Admittedly, track number 7, ‘Blown Rose’, makes the album for me. Released in 2015, it was the first track I heard by Blossoms, and since then I have intently followed their progress, and release of new EP’s.
Overall, my opinion of this album is fairly mixed, changing quite literally, track-by-track. Mainly, the previously released singles stick out to me as being an incredible display of talent, whereas the new tracks leave me slightly discouraged. Due to the album still being in its early days, I am unsure whether this is down to purely not knowing them as well, or other, deeper reasons.
Upon reading other reviews of this album, it is however evident that some people are left disappointed by what they have heard, expecting more from such an initially promising band. For example, the view of many people seems to be that Blossoms have not stuck to their original sound, instead being dragged into a more mainstream arena, which has removed their ‘indie’ status, instead referring to them as something the original indie scene tried to escape.
“If they’re prioritising chart success over indie credibility, this debut should do the job.” This is how another review ends, yet again signalling that their sound has been changed, and perhaps not for the better.
The album has also been criticised for trying to incorporate all the band’s music to date, including one of their first singles, ‘Blow’, which was released way back in 2014. This, according to some, does not give an accurate representation of the material they are writing now, confusing the sound of the album.
However, this album has also received excessive praise, being referred to by NME as having “a heroic blend of radio-friendly guitar pop and bristling disco”. The band have also been recognised for having “an obvious knack for tunes”, which leaves the future looking prosperous, and definitely exciting for Blossoms.
Catch them at Boardmasters or Reading & Leeds later this summer, or on their UK September/October tour!