It’s been four years since Blossoms broke through and provided us with hit singles like ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘I Can’t Stand It’. The music they released in 2018 had a range of influences, such as New Wave. I particularly liked it because it was recorded whilst they were touring for their first album. Their latest LP ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ had a lot to live up to, following amazing singles like ‘I Can’t Stand It’ and ‘There’s a Reason Why (I never returned your calls)’.
The band provides an aesthetic heavily influenced by the ‘70s. Although they are clearly also heavily influenced by bands like The Arctic Monkeys and Talking Heads. They make music that reflects their Manchester roots.
So, ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’, what’s the crack? I needed a little time to warm up to their new sound, particularly because I like the first track ‘If You Think This Is Real Life’ the least. However, once you get past the first track, it’s a lovely, well crafted album. It gives off quite a laid-back vibe, perfect for listening to whilst doing my university work.
I’m very glad the band seems to have gone back to their roots, making their latest LP familiar to those who have followed the band since their earlier years. By far, the best tracks are ‘The Keeper’ and ‘Oh No (I Think I’m in Love)’. Tom Ogden is clearly a very talented songwriter: his songs are full of fun and zing. Ogden’s songs are full of straight-up feelings, nothing complicated or difficult to relate to. Blossoms are providing us with stories of love, heartbreak, and confusion. I felt my head bopping along once I knew my way around the tracks, particularly to ‘Sunday Was a Friend of Mine’, but ‘The Keeper’ is by far my favourite song on the album as it’s the most upbeat track and makes me want to get on my feet and hop along to the piano within it.
I’m very excited to see them perform in the LCR on 7 March. Blossoms, I’m foolishly loving you.
Music Mavericks: Tyler, the Creator
When discussing personality in pop music, it’s impossible to disregard Tyler, the Creator. The loud-mouthed ‘rapper’ is a symbol of self-confidence, progressive Hip-Hop, and acting like a nutter on stage. His progression from controversial misfit to genre-bending maverick is one of the most interesting career arcs in modern music. The self-titled ‘Flower Boy’ conveyed himself as a satanic ‘Goblin’, and led to him being banned from performing in both New Zealand and the UK, his intentionally inciteful lyrics officially considered a ‘threat to public order.’
His career was built on shock factor. His breakthrough song ‘Yonkers,’ touches on suicide, wearing women’s underwear, and killing Bruno Mars, his success largely riding on the image of him eating a live cockroach in its accompanying music video. Tyler was polarizing, his early work described as ‘violently anti-gay and misogynistic’ by LGBTQ+ organization GLAAD, music critics simultaneously praising its provocative lyrics and non-conforming messages. Today, this image of a homophobic hellraiser is unrecognizable, the now openly bisexual artist exploring sexuality and love in his latest album IGOR. The self-produced blend of soul, jazz and hip-hop won ‘Best Rap Album’ at the 2020 Grammys.
He’s traded Satan for sunflowers, but continues to push boundaries; his anti-establishment ideals explored through experimental fashion design and music production, the polarizing figure now universally respected, his rejection of boundaries meeting critical acclaim.