Blossoms released their debut self-titled album on the 5th August 2016 on Virgin EMI Records. The band achieved their first UK number 1 album as a result of its success and have scored the highest selling debut album of 2016 so far. Prior to its release, the band released the singles “Charlemagne”, “Getaway” and “Honey Sweet” (“My Favourite Room” was also released prior to the album release, but not as a single).
The album opens up with their hit single “Charlemagne”, an effortlessly cool and classic indie track with catchy lyrics, a bold bass line and a bit of synthesiser. “At Most A Kiss” is also laced with synth hooks and huge guitar parts, whilst possessing a distinct 1980’s flare, see also “Honey Sweet”.
“Getaway” serves as a refreshing break from the heavily synth tracks that encase it. It’s an upbeat song that fits into the album’s cool feel. It’s quite different to some of the tracks on the album as it possesses a more poppy feel, as opposed to “Blown Rose”, for example.
I particularly love the simplicity of “Onto Her Bed”. The perhaps melancholic tone, supported by the haunting echoes of piano, and slow tempo create an air of mystery. It breaks up the album and gives a good space to pause for thought, especially having followed big, upbeat tracks such as “Charlemagne” and “Getaway”. It’s essentially a quite sweet love song which fades out over about 30 seconds at the end. The piano fades out first and then the lyrics, which repeat “onto her bed” until ending in silence. It’s a track which could easily be forgotten about when put up against the more brash tracks, such as “Cut Me And I’ll Bleed” or “Blown Rose”, but it’s a subtly significant track which oozes mystery, ambiguity and enigma. It’s definitely one of the underdogs of the album and serves as a perfect breather and pause for thought between “Honey Sweet” and “Texia”.
Songs like “Texia” and “Blow” embody a sense of Alex Turner in its lyrics, whilst arguably in voice also. There’s something very clever about it. “Cut Me and I’ll Bleed” is a track from the band’s first EP from way back in 2014. The lyrics are simple, but again have that Turner flare and a Peace-like vocal. I especially love the claps and the repetition of “Cut Me” and “Show Me” etc. “Blown Rose” is, again, from a previous 2015 EP (incidentally of the same name).
“Smashed Pianos” is my favourite song on the album. It starts with an almost spoken, muted vocals, a basic drum beat and keyboard. Then, all of a sudden, the song kicks in. Since the first time I heard it I found it catchy and wanted to sing along with it. I can imagine it being good live.
“My Favourite Rooms” offers the, albeit obligatory, acoustic track on the album. It’s amazing to hear Tom Ogden’s (lead singer) voice with just the acoustic guitar. The vocals definitely have a slight Van McCann (Catfish and the Bottlemen) feel to them. The song sounds comforting and familiar and reminds me of Glastonbury festival, where I heard it first. Some simple piano kicks in at the end. It’s a hidden treasure on an album of upbeat bangers.
The album ends with “Deep Grass”, a slower track which sets a thoughtful tone at the end of the album. It leaves the listener wanting more. After a guitar solo the music fades out and the album is complete.
Overall, I love the album. I think it’s current, whilst still managing to retain a classic sound (perhaps quite 80s in places) with synthesisers and keyboards, bold bass lines and catchy lyrics. There’s hints of Catfish and the Bottlemen (and arguably hints of Peace) within with a cool Alex Turner feel. It’s definitely one of the better albums 2016 has offered thus far and I can’t wait to hear more of the band. They are touring the UK over the next few months, as well as performing at festivals such as Reading and Leeds Festival this month.