“This record has a freshness and an innocence…” - hmv.com talks to Blossoms
Psychedelic indie types Blossoms drop their self-titled debut album today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we called up frontman Tom Ogden to find out all about recording it, working with The Coral frontman James Skelly and their epic summer of festivals…
Your debut album is out today! Has it been ready for a little while?
“We finished it in January so we’re champing at the bit to get it out, I just want to be able to play it all live.”
Are the songs all quite new? Or have you been collecting tracks for a while?
“The oldest song on it is probably about three years old and the newest is probably now eight months old, which meant it was brand new when we recorded it. We were building up singles before we knew we’d get a record deal so when we got signed we wanted to make sure we put them on the album because they’re great tunes.”
“The second half was recorded in between tours last year so it’s an album of two halves really. It makes for a great album. We really thought of making an A-Side and a B-Side, really thinking about the whole package.”
You recorded the album in Liverpool with James Skelly (frontman in The Coral) and Rich Turvey, how that work? Did you do some tracks with one and some with the other?
“They did it all together. We loved every minute of working with them, James has got so much experience and Rich is a great up and coming producer in Liverpool.”
How did you get in touch with James?
“We made a demo of one of our songs called ‘Blow’ and he got in touch and said he wanted to release it on his label. We met up and we really haven’t looked back, he’s produced everything we’ve done since. He’s great with us, obviously he’s written some great pop songs and that’s all we want to do. He’s very keen on making us sound modern and not being too reliant on your influences. He’s everything we need from a producer.”
Neither of them have done much production, were you never tempted to try someone more experienced?
“I think the fact that he wasn’t coming to us with years and years of experience probably helped us both. We were learning as he was learning and we bounced off each other. It gives it the record a freshness and an innocence, we’d try new things and explore all the sounds we could.”
Can you sum up the album lyrically? Is there a theme?
“If there’s a common theme it’s relationships, that wasn’t a purposeful thing, it was just what was going on in my life. It’s a mixture of romance and melancholy, it’s the same mixture a lot of my favourite bands have. There’s a lot of stuff about breaking up on there.”
How do you think you’ve grown as a lyricist in the time you’ve been in band?
“I’ve tried different things and I’m a lot more honest now. A song like ‘Charlemagne’, that’s more cloaked in metaphor and mysticism, whereas a track like ‘Getaway’ is much more to the point and easier to relate to. A lot of the later tracks are more honest, I watched that Amy Winehouse documentary and I saw how brutal and honest she was and how it was so affecting. That’s how I try to write now, but it’s good to have both sides on the album.”
Was the album always going to be self-titled?
“In the early days, when all this was a pipe dream, we’d always said that our first album would be self-titled, but we ummed and ahhed in the last few months. I think if we’d thought of a great name we’d have gone with it, but nothing jumped out. I like it, I like the boldness and how it works with the cover.”
How’s planning going to take the album out live? Are you filling 2017 up already?
“I think we are yeah. We’re in the busiest festival season we’ve ever done, we’ve done about 45 festivals and we’re only halfway through! It’ll be constant touring from here on, we want to take this round the world. We want to be as big as we can.”