Album Review: Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces
With three lead singles all made of different stuff to their previous work, Blossoms seemed to be embodying a pop-filled, synth and bass-reliant, 80s vibe as opposed to a Morrissey-esque, flower-swinging rhythm on their latest full length, ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’.
I have to say that The Keeper threw me off the most, with Your Girlfriend and If You Think This Is Real Life epitomising this synth-bass relationship the most. The Keeper, led by a soulful piano section, felt the most modern but with a retro charm, as per Blossoms’ usual style. The three singles open the record, with their third single making for a punchy opener. Your Girlfriend comes in second, with its flirtatious bass softening, as well as complimenting, the melodic punch of the first track.
After the first three singles, we find our first new album track. Immediately, the listener is hit with a sexy twangy guitar and, once again, the familiar charming bassline from Charlie Salt. It seems Blossoms have entirely harnessed the power of a good bassline in this record already, adding to their already established retro sound. The track’s bridge sees a gorgeous riff, similar to that of a Fleetwood Mac record, introducing Ogden’s longing vocals and romantic lyrics. The backing vocals of the band reminisce the 60s, serenading the listener with poetic rhythms. The following track, Sunday Was a Friend of Mine, compliments the previous perfectly; sexy bass riffs, poetic backing vocals, and groovy guitars.
"It brings a modern familiarity for a younger listener, whilst harnessing something charmingly successful from earlier decades for a more mature listener."
Oh No (I Think I’m In Love) is led by bass and synth, with pacing taken straight out of a 70s disco. A theme of accidental love and hopeless romanticism is all reliable Blossoms stuff; honing in on timeless poetry and sounds to bring back the best of what the past has to offer. Romance, Eh? follows, being arguably the first track in the album to utilise more acoustic guitar sounds. There is less synth reliance comparatively, but it’s refreshing and a great addition to the album. Its pre-chorus is similar to the rest of record; a longing, romantic vocal from Ogden, with reinforcing instrumentation from the rest of the band. These backing vocals from the band throughout truly bring out all of the best parts felt when watching a cheesy coming-of-age film; hopeful romanticism, nostalgia and bliss.
"Blossoms have proven an ability to maintain a hold on sensual retro sounds."
A couple of times throughout this record, there are glimpses of twangy guitar riffs, remindful of something from a Gus Dapperton or Mac Demarco record. Demonstrated most in My Vacant Days, it brings a modern familiarity for a younger listener, whilst harnessing something charmingly successful from earlier decades for a more mature listener. Falling For Someone has something much grittier, at least for a Blossoms’ record, at its core. The guitar riffs and drum beats explain a coarseness at the throat of its sound. Similar to The Keeper, external feminine, and soulful vocals are brought in which contribute to its grit. The softness of Ogden’s vocals, however, balances the track out as not to contrast that of earlier tracks in the record, whilst demonstrating an ability to grapple with something fresher in their sound. The album finishes with a more funky take on the omnipresence synth-bass relationship, but marrying this with the grit of the previous track in Like Gravity, making for something truly spectacular to finish this record.
With this album, Blossoms have proven an ability to maintain a hold on sensual retro sounds, whilst grappling with new methods of demonstration. It’s difficult to fault the album when they have perfected and built upon what they have already established in their sound. This goes to show a longevity in the band’s musicianship that will be valued and admired for anyone who listens to this album.