EP Review: Blossoms – At Most A Kiss

At Most A Kiss

at most a kissReleased 23rd February 2016

Words: Julia Grantham

At Most A Kiss is the third EP to be released by up-and-coming Stockport five piece Blossoms. This band have been gathering momentum steadily for the last couple of years since forming in 2013, and started out supporting bands such as The Charlatans and The Courteeners. Since being signed to Virgin EMI last year, Blossoms have had Radio One airplay, announced several festival dates and are currently on tour having sold out at The Albert Hall in Manchester which is their biggest headline show to date. There has never been a better time to discover this band, and I for one have been very excited  to watch them go from being virtually unheard of and performing in pubs, to becoming possibly the fastest growing Indie band around at the moment. They are set to have a fantastic year in 2016, and beyond that, who knows!

This EP is just as good as their previous two and has the usual trademark catchy Indie Pop tracks, led by synth, bass and each and every song is tuneful, punchy and fresh. You can hear the influences of bands like The Arctic Monkeys and New Order, but Blossoms’ sound still remains unique to them, with strong, solid vocals, and accessible catchy melodies; perhaps what makes them so successful.

The music industry has needed a band like this to come along, and with songs such as these, it seems sure that they are around to stay. The opening title track, At Most A Kiss,  begins with a strong bass and synth led intro, but without being retro. I love the way this song is clearly influenced by 80s synth and electro pop, but made contemporary by lead singer Tom’s iconic vocals and Indie rock Muse-style guitar. It is reminiscent of their earlier hit Charlemagne, being rich in melody and heavy on guitar. It also has a strong and catchy chorus which makes it a real crowd pleaser and is the right choice for the EP opener.

Fourteen has a slower tempo, but like the opening track is synth-led and has it’s roots in The 80s. What makes Blossoms so appealing is their ability to create repetitive melodic hooks that makes their sound popular and recognisable. They have many layers of influence which span the decades and their unique Indie-Pop sound enables them to appeal to a wide audience. Fourteen is no exception. I particularly like the staccato keyboard on this track, making it a lively, bouncy almost disco number. It is mostly in a minor key, with a nice bridge into a major key in places, yet still retaining a moody feel. It is laid-back and brooding but lively enough to make it a danceable crowd-pleaser.

Third track, Wretched Fate, by contrast is a much more frenetically-paced song, and demonstrates the range of lead singer Tom’s vocals by being slightly higher pitched than usual during the chorus. I can really hear The Beatles influence during the verses, but again, there are many different sounds all working together in the track; synth, rock and disco all merge harmoniously together on this song. You can imagine how brilliant this tune would sound performed live. It has the most lively opening of all the songs on At Most A Kiss and you can almost picture an audience dancing as the keyboards burst into song. It is full of passion encapsulated by the line ‘electric storm’ which is the perfect way to describe the mood of this track.

Misery is a lovely end track, using piano and strings, and is almost ballad-like. This is definitely the most pop sounding song on the EP, with lovely soulful passages telling a tale of unrequited love. It stands apart from the rest of the tracks because of its slow harmonies and echoes the likes of Elton John or even Stevie Wonder. You wouldn’t think that that would work for this band, but somehow it really does. The song has a smooth, gentle opening, consisting of a simple piano and vocals, immediately contrasting to the previous songs and making it stand out from the rest of the tracks.

All in all, those who are already fans of Blossoms will not be disappointed by this latest release. It is energetic, melodic and full of catchy, danceable tunes. This is a band who whether purposefully or not have created a unique and iconic sound, that is both contemporary, multi-layered. Furthermore, they have succeeded in creating a brilliant Indie Pop vibe that reaches a far and wide audience. I feel sure that this band are only going to become bigger and better as 2016 unfolds. Watch this space!

Watch the video for At Most A Kiss here:

 

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