The opening few seconds of ‘If You Think This Is Real Life’ tell you everything you need to know about the third album from Stockport’s finest Blossoms. This is pop music and bloody hell is it a great time.
I live in Stockport myself, I see that Blossoms logo most days on just about every sign that surrounds the town, I can pretty much see The Plaza where the band just played two homecoming gigs of Foolish Loving Spaces in full. They launched their previous album by selling ice-creams on the Market right outside my door. I feel like I could just open my window and Blossoms would be heard somewhere.
Luckily for me this new album is as fun, catchy, and energetic as their Mercury nominated debut. There’s a lot to be said about bands that get lumped into the Indie/Alternative genre for no apparent reason making things as plain and obvious as they can. Maybe it’s because they have guitars and a drummer so people can’t handle the idea that they might actually like pop music after all, but tracks like ‘Sunday Was A Friend Of Mine’ and ‘Your Girlfriend’ are stacked with hooks and singalong worthy choruses. I’ll be clear here, this is definitely a good thing, as clearly Blossoms are writing and performing music they genuinely like, the lack of the need to be ‘cool’ is so welcome.
‘The Keeper’ is like the sort of thing Arcade Fire used to lodge into their albums and suddenly wonder why the fans liked it so much, pure joy on a song. Songs with brackets in the title are secretly one of my favourite sub-genres of music and ‘Oh No (I Think I’m In Love)’ lives up to the greats of the genre. You can hear lead singer Tom saying the title ‘Romance, Eh?’ even when it’s written down, a song that ends up sounding like the theme tune to a mid 00s comedy drama on ITV.
Lyrically there’s not much to shout about, which some of the other writers on Picky B’s might take issue with me not caring too much about.
There’s a joyous simplicity to the lyrics of ‘If You Think This Is Real Life’, which undoubtedly ends up as the band’s biggest and best song since ‘Charlemagne’. That rattle between each line of the chorus is incessantly addictive.
Closer ‘Like Gravity’ is somehow even bigger in scale, probably the only song that pushes the band’s sound to somewhere properly new here, with it’s thrilling final half.
For the last few years songs like ‘Charlemagne’, ‘At Most A Kiss’, ‘Blown Rose’ and ‘Getaway’ have had me a bit worried that Blossoms truly peaked with their debut album. Following up Cool Like You was fine, but felt even less interesting than the B Sides added to the first record. Foolish Loving Spaces feels like that same careless energy is back for the lads, an all killer no filler Indie-Pop record that revels in how accessible and easy to enjoy it is.
Words by Sam Atkins.