Being really good mates with someone is a beautiful thing. Though measured on a scale of intensity, there probably is one other overriding sensation; the feeling of being in love, and with this new project Blossoms frontman and songwriter Tom Ogden offers a quirky take on what this can feel like.
But, and there is a big but, ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ takes the theme of love as far as it can. Musically and lyrically things are stretched further, and the Stockport indie band’s third album is more ambitious, more direct than anything that has gone before.
Mature and wonderfully rich, it represents a perfect encounter between lofty ambition and trust - having the confidence to be ambitious but also knowing when to trust people. When something genuinely is good the temptation to making changes is irrelevant, and Blossoms continue to work with James Skelly on this record.
Transferable skills are always welcome. Hooks combined with splendid songwriting have always been part of Blossoms’ raison d'etre, and this record is loaded with hooks and sublime melody. Groovy to the point where it becomes tempting to wonder how, when and where this all happened.
A summer spent listening to three records Talking Heads’ ‘Stop Making Sense’, U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ and ‘Screamadelica’ by Primal Scream planted the seeds of inspiration behind ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’. The iconic albums may be what has sown some seeds but what followed is an astonishing way of applying these influences. The vibe and vibrancy of this record point to Abba, The Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles.
Majestic but groovy, album opener ‘If You Think This Is Real Life’ bursts with explosive energy. Seeing the words “real life” flash up on the TV made Ogden enter them into his app and out came the title. It is an infectious and funky ordeal where the pace is kept up for then to be immediately followed by the upbeat slide guitar and euphoria found on ‘Your Girlfriend’ and the funky Primal Scream-indebted ‘The Keeper’. Then things switch up on the mesmerising track ‘My Swimming Brain’, a light, breezy summery piece carrying smooth backing vocals. The use of reverberated guitars and some lap steel shows how much Blossoms have progressed.
Elsewhere, ‘Sunday Was A Friend of Mine’ provides one of the big hook-centric moments on the record while expressive keyboard sounds are provided on ‘Oh No (I Think I’m In Love)’, a song tackling the sense of being certain about love and enjoying the feeling. ‘My Vacant Days’ is a smooth, romantic glissando-led track where nothing other than the ability to dream matters. Quiet, soothing and pensive, its ethereal quality is second to none. Closing off the album with ‘Like Gravity’ shows a sombre side. Introspective, looking back, analysing and taking a proper look at a situation: “I’m healing we are one and it brings me to clarity. She is season she is sun and it calls to my sanity,” sings Ogden.
Being loyal to the indie code of conduct can be hard these days, but Blossoms are doing a pretty good job. A young super-group who are growing at a fast pace, their third album is glorious, ambitious and fulfilling, and it can take the band to new places and...loving spaces.
Words: Susan Hansen
- - -
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.