“Touring can be exhausting”, Pip Blom tells Clash. “I bring my pillow and stuff that will make me feel at home. When you are touring, the only place that is the same is your van, every single day you go to a different place. You sleep in a different bed, you meet new people, this can be nice but it can also be harsh, so I take things from home in order to make all the different places feel homely.”
Having just played several well-received shows at SXSW in Austin, Texas, one of the band’s sets was hosted by the Dutch Embassy; “It was at mid-night, it was late already”, Pip enthuses, “we were in a big room, it wasn’t full, but lots of people were dancing, it was a nice first American show. A few of our friends were there, which makes it more fun. It was amazing.”
There is nothing like fresh, European sensibilities, when they are mixed with cool and compelling North American guitar sounds, echoing the likes of The Breeders and Sonic Youth, it becomes a treat, and Amsterdam’s beguiling quartet Pip Blom constitute the attributes you would want from a new band.
The band’s current single 'Daddy Issues' encapsulates jangly pop sensibilities with edgy guitars and vocals but these characteristics only make up one aspect of Pip Blom’s music. The band’s upcoming debut album 'Boat', due for release late May through Heavenly Recordings, looks set to solidify the band’s intricate expression and thematic complexity with its inherent darker vibes.
“I think It’s a bit melancholic, but it’s also anthem-like, it has got a chorus”, she states. “We tried to make sure things aren’t super-smooth and polished. I like a bit of a rough sound but that can be difficult to achieve when you are in a high-quality studio, so that took some effort to achieve, but we’re happy with how it turned out.”
Unsurprisingly, Pip approaches song-writing in unexpected ways. “I write songs in my house. I’ll watch a documentary while playing my guitar. My idea behind that is by focusing on something else, I just start to play stuff. When I play something on my guitar that stands out more than the documentary does, then that becomes something I should use.”
Recorded at Ramsgate’s Big Jelly Studios with Dave McCracken, the band learnt from working with the prolific producer. “Dave has got so much experience, he lived and worked in New York for ten years”, she explains. “It’s cool to mix different elements from other genres to make it more quirky, and Dave is really good at doing that. He finds certain sounds, like synths or drum sounds that may sound hip hoppy. He brought so much energy to the studio days, which is important because you are working from 10 to 10, so you need someone who’s like ‘oh that is so awesome’, so you can keep going.”
As for the future, Pip Blom just wants to take one day at a time. “We are just trying to see how it goes, especially since this is our first album”, she says. “I want it to be representational of what we’ve been doing for the past three years, but also of where we’re now. We’ve changed and learnt different techniques and played a lot, so that has changed our ways of writing music.”
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'Boat' will be released on May 31st.
Words: Susan Hansen
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