If there’s one thing that Blossoms’ Tom Ogden is good at; other than writing sweet indie pop gems, it’s naming World Cup winners. This talent is more Mastermind than Stars In Their Eyes, but the frontman of the Stockport quartet could compete for both.
Over the last couple of years, the band have reigned over Indie Twitter and won over the critics. And that’s without an overly extraordinary story; just a few ordinary blokes into whodunnits on Netflix and being pissed off about rain fall in summer. That’s the thing about Blossoms; they’re just a few mates proving that the harder you work, the luckier you get. Humble to their hometown, proud as punch of their Northern inspirations and running with the old school approach to the music industry: write, release, perform. Repeat.
“I mean I've always strived for longevity, you know what I mean?” Tom starts, “So when we were making our first album, as soon as we finished it we immediately started on the second. We've never sat and basked in the glory so to speak, we've kind of always had our heads screwed on and been focused thinking; "right, what's next?"”
- - -
- - -
The debut record was chockablock with big choruses that quickly filled festival fields and even stretched across stadiums, mysterious lyrics served with a twinkling eye and groovy rhythms with a slithering layer of darkness. It could have been toured for years to come and for fans, the songs would remain timeless, but that isn’t the spirit. “We know that we need to keep writing songs and we know that we need to keep getting better. We knew we wouldn't be a one album band, definitely. But we've worked hard to make sure that that's not the case.”
Putting it down to restless legs and a craving to get into the studio, the band say that it “comes naturally to always be on the front foot.” Not necessarily boredom, but a creative itch that can be triggered simply from seeing a line from a book.
Latest record, ‘Cool Like You’ is a step up. It’s a welcomed sign of confidence from a band quickly trademarking a sign as distinctive as the Stockport accent. Demonstrating their knack for writing a singalong earworm, the record crawls with them. Whether they’re spinning round a cotton candy machine and nesting in the sugary cone of ‘There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)’ or in ‘I Can’t Stand It’ and slipping off the tongue with a bittersweet taste, the record is one that refuses to budge from the subconscious.
- - -
We've been focused, thinking; right, what's next?
- - -
The general gist is that long distance relationships are difficult. Catapulted into a non-stop touring schedule around the world, Cool Like You, narrates the past year for the band. “You've gotta write about what you're doing, haven't you?” Tom says, explaining how the record was half written away from home. ‘Love Talk’; the crooning schmooze with an arm wave inducing chorus soothes, “I hate leaving the town that owns me,” to the lover who is only a flight away. ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ pulses a dark story of loneliness and stalking a lover through the phone.
“I think [the biggest impact that travelling has had on the music] is being able to see different bands in different countries. It's kinda inspiring. You might see a band live and think "ooh, I like that guitar sound." But you wouldn't have seen them unless you were in a bar in New York or somewhere like that.” Tom explains, saying that it’s more a subconscious thing, “It never consumes everything that we do. We're never totally inspired by one thing, it just seeps in.” Despite the difficulties faced in touring, Tom smiles that he simply wouldn’t change a thing and confirms that he’ll always look back on this period of his life fondly.
The reception to the debut left Tom feeling more assured about his writing. Before, he draped everything in glowing metaphors and hid behind riddles whereas the new record is sincere and openly honest. “The more I've wrote songs, the more I've evolved into being more comfortable writing personal lyrics.” He says, “Towards the end of the first album, with songs like 'Get Away' it was when I first started writing more personal lyrics. I just continued on that path afterwards. Some songs are about the same thing, some are about things that are completely different.”
- - -
We wanted to show off the songs in their rawest form...
- - -
The band decided to finish the album with acoustic versions of each and every songs. Stripping back the disco bass lines and rousing choruses, the songs are almost transformed. “We wanted to show off the songs in their rawest form and show that the songs stand up fully stripped back without all of the sparkle.”
In their barest form, the album goes from strength to strength and provides a cathartic song for all emotions and matter of dealings. “As a band who are fans of other bands, we know that if one of our favourite bands did that we'd love it. We wanted to give that to the fans.”
A lot of people don’t deliver on their second album, but Blossoms really upped their game. Laughing that the one thing always on their minds is having a good gig that night, 'Cool Like You' is an album made for the people in a crowd. The lyrics feel good to sing in company, the rhythms make you move and the delivery is the backdrop to an unforgettable evening of shared memories. When we’re all older, we’ll look back at Blossoms, at this album, and think “what a band.”
- - -
- - -
'Cool Like You' is out now.
Words: Tanyel Gumushan
Join us on 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 and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.