This Weeks Music Video with Childish Gambino, Sigrid, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine, Mitski and Blossoms

Single Review – Chase and Status feat. Blossoms – This Moment 

In light of the new partnership with fresh indie group Blossoms, electronic duo Chase and Status said: “It’s always a challenge to collaborate with another act, but this was easy.” And you can tell. The slickness with which This Moment is pulled off is impeccable, with the effortless mingling of Blossoms’ etheral ambience and the staple defiant synth work of Chase and Status. The drum and bass outfit separate themselves from all the others competing for their heights via the impassioned ferocity that lifts each of their tracks – making them something much more than meaningless songs to dance along to – only to be furthered this time by the stirring vocals of Tom Ogden. Though this is an improbable coupling, it works so well. I love it when two completely diverse styles collide and can produce something this accomplished. It means there are so many unexplored collaborations and styles to look forward to – and it’s 90% likely Chase and Status will produce them.

Eleanor Chivers 

Musicandotherthingz Best Newcomer of 2016

For out Newcomers it’s been an exciting year. Some created viral moments, others received established backing and some of them finally got an album out. The exciting new rapping talents of Noname, the imaginative production of Bullion and the virtual one man band that is Jack Garratt all received strong support from out voters but they’re appearing in the following long list with the others. The top three are below and it got very close.

3. Maggie Rogers (17.78% of the vote) 

Millions of people have now seen the moment where an unsure and modest NYU music student plays her track to Pharrell Williams who was teaching a masterclass to the students there. After giving a lot of constructive criticism and technical feedback to the students, up comes Maggie. She explains her story and her struggles in that time and they play her track. The rest is history. Seeing the amazement strike Pharrell and seeing that turn into bewilderment at what he’s hearing whilst she sits, eyes to the floor, blissfully unaware is brilliant to watch and a testament to her talent. She’s heavily influenced by folk music and folk melodies, but she’s enthused these with a dance beat and nudging, delicate production. There is a direct link between the sound she’s creating and the narrative in her lyrics, that together paint a very vivid picture. A breath of fresh air.

2. Sundara Karma (23.33%) 

The Reading Indie rock quartet only just missed out on top spot in what was a rather tense vote. They are not too dissimilar from our winners in many Indie ways, but they ply their sound with a hint of glam rock finesse and attitude. They’ve just released their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect and it will surely be picked up by teenagers across the country. These will be filling the venues and festivals the band play to and hopefully they’ll be able to go on a creative streak to match their festival and sing-a-long qualities. 

1. Blossoms (24.00%)

We’ve seen this before haven’t we? A bunch of ambitious lads from a Northern town who want to go on an conquer the world. If they follow the right path, then anything is possible for Blossoms. They differ from Sundara Karma in how they try varying degrees of popular rock music and take Pop elements to it as well. With the guiding hand of James Skelly as their producer, they’ve managed to put out brilliant singles and tracks destined for commercial success. They’ve got the hooks and the pop lyrics and with that it’s up to them where they take it from there. 

Owen Riddle

Blossoms – Blossoms Review 


Blossoms have been labelled as many things – ‘another attempt at lad-rock’, ‘an Oasis remake’, and, most offensive of all, ‘psychedelic.’ However, their eponymous debut seems to make all these statements redundant. The album is an intermingling of sizzling pop synths and a safety net of subtle yet punchy rock hints, making it the ideal album for those willing to expand their music taste.

The first three tracks seem to provide a different angle to Blossoms’ sound, keeping listeners intrigued to see what they’ve come up with next, yet nothing ever seems out of place. First off is the Radio 1 favourite Charlemagne, made instantly captivating by the chimes of the synth intro reminiscent of an 80s martial arts movie. The track boasts an incredibly catchy chorus sandwiched between snappy verses you could recite the lyrics to after a couple of listens. And at a cool 2 minutes and 47 seconds, the band could not have chosen a more entrancing first declaration of their un-Oasis-ness. At Most A Kiss follows, still parading similar 80s twinkles, but this time with a more obvious rock element. The bass is more forceful, and a stern guitar hook ties the bridge to the final chorus. Completing the opening trilogy is Getaway. The tracklist dissolves the profound synths one by one; Getaway, unsurprisingly then, is much more settled than one and two. This angle I am going to liken to The Script. Not only does lead singer Tom Ogden sound like Danny O’Donoghue with a tickle in his throat most distinctively here, but the track takes on a more pop-based approach, with more simplistic lyricism and a chanting chorus. However, the track never disregards a degree of rock effervescence, similar to The Script’s methodology, yet more 80s powered. After the first three, most of the succeeding tracks seem to dip into the approaches the trilogy explores. Texia and Cut Me and I’ll Bleed follow the framework of Charlemagne. Blown Rose and Blow are more reflective of At Most A Kiss, whereas Getaway’s predecessor Honey Sweet is mostly The Script.

Despite this, there are some tracks that diverge from these agendas. Smashed Pianos is a starlit track: from the opening underwater-like synths to the closing seething build, the song is fairly haunting and very different from any of the other numbers. My Favourite Room is the most telling of their unjust Britpop status, with an admittedly Wonderwall-esque acoustic. This track is the one that draws the most similarities to the grungy 90s. This stripped-back number focuses of Ogden’s powerful vocals, laced with sweet harmonies from his bandmates, supported only by acoustic chords and the glimmer of keys towards the end. Concluding track Deep Grass is formed by flickering synths and an echoic hook, making this track their most electronic on the album and a possible signpost for more robotic explorations in the future. And as the track fizzles away with the quivering synths, all the critics and journalists labelling Blossoms as a purely Britpop band are forced to withdraw their statements.

Blossoms have created an extremely promising debut, with glimpses off pop, rock, indie and no-nonsense nostalgia. Such a mixture of styles makes for an appealing tracklist for all sorts of music enthusiasts, and has justified their place of the BBC Sound of 2016 shortlist.

Blossoms – Blossoms: 8/10

By Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Blossoms – Honey Sweet


The Stockport Indie collective have their debut self titled album on the way for August 5th and have released another single as a precursor. ‘Honey Sweet’ lends from some already familiar elements from their sound that we’ve heard over the last year. It features the industrious, driving rhythms and the anthemic lead riff falling from it. The vocals are a little more calm and subdued and this sort of occupies a middle ground between comtemplative ballads and the more singalong tracks. It isn’t quite assertive as a sound in its own right however and is certainly not them at their strongest. 

Owen Riddle

This Weeks Music Video with FOALS, Bloc Party, The Kills, AlunaGeorge, Mitski, Eleanor Friedberger and Blossoms

Single Review – Blossoms – Getaway

Another year and another hyped British band is being lavished with praise before they’ve even got going with music that is nothing special. This isn’t Catfish and the Bottlemen or The 1975, but it is the Stockport quintet Blossoms. Now, though the early comparisons to other throw away hipster troupes seem legitimate, I think Blossoms will soon prove the sceptics (I was one) wrong. They are grounded and not afraid of their desire to write ‘good pop tunes’. Beyond that, they have already suggested that whilst they may be lacking in musical substance, they more than make up for that in pop sensibility and flair. Their early singles have actually been deceptively varied with Pop, Garage and electronic elements. With their new single ‘Getaway’, they keep up the trend with a Killers-esque piece of power Pop. It contains sweeping electronica, steady rhythms and the wistful overtures of a hopeless romantic. The song lifts itself with each burst of the chorus, but never goes too far or parodies itself. They leave plenty of open space on the track for the sounds to feed into and has easy hooks and melodies. It is by no means a game-changer, but it shows that for once there is a solid group behind the solid hype.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Blossoms – At Most A Kiss

 

As results of the BBC Sound of 2016 arrived back in November one act stood out, a Stockport five piece with long hair, leather jackets and guitars. That band is Blossoms, rising stars hailing from Stockport who’s new single ‘At Most A Kiss’ is taken from their new EP of the same name. Alongside being nominated for BBC Sound of 2016 the band have picked up other notable nominations – Spotify’s Spotlight on 2016, MTV Brand New for 2016, iTunes/Apple Music New Artists 2016.

At Most A Kiss is an emphatic, fast paced track, with touches of synths added in for good measure and sees Blossoms channel their unique pop-rock sound. The shimmering synths and crashing drums coming together to make an excellent pop-rock track that would fit perfectly on the radio. Accompanying these are singer Tom Ogden’s unmistakable vocals, piercing through the track adding a slightly more conventional indie sound to the track. The catchy bass line adding a low slung punch to the track underneath the glittering synths and sharp guitars, pushing the track forward.

 

Matthew Kay