It was Groundhog Day recently and right now I'm getting a sense of that myself, for today's album review comes from an indie-pop band whose debut album was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Prize award. Didn't that happen a few weeks ago?
This time, however, it's not The Big Moon. Instead, we're looking at Foolish Loving Spaces by Blossoms, the third effort from the group, and as far as indie albums go it's fair to say that...this is one. It does feature some clear nods to the '70s and '80s, but mostly, this is about as indie as indie gets.
This makes Foolish Loving Spaces possibly the most straightforward and consistent record to be reviewed thus far. It's catchy, fun and upbeat, and though it fails to throw up a truly outstanding song, that's not necessarily a bad thing; rather, it's an indication of the album's constant strength all the way through. There are slight peaks and troughs to be found; 'The Keeper' and 'My Swimming Brain' offer a double-header of excellent songwork, whereas 'Oh No (I Think I'm In Love)' passed me by before I really noticed it was on. The album's brilliant electro-rock closer, 'Like Gravity', is the pick of the bunch, but it's an album on which the wave of quality resembles a shallow sine wave, rather than that of a heart monitor.
This makes it a solid album from start to finish, whether it be the '80s-tinged opener of 'If You Think This Is Real Life', the bassline banger of 'Sunday Was A Friend of Mine' or the brief, fully acoustic tones of 'My Vacant Days'. Though it's light on true variety, and certainly light on experimentation, there's enough there in the songs themselves to keep you entertained throughout. Not every album needs to offer up something brand new, and with this album, Blossoms have simply crafted a collection of good songs for your pleasure.
Additionally, this album brings a sense of ease with it, a feeling that they approached the writing and recording in a more laid-back way. Having proven themselves on their first two albums, it seems they took things a little easier this time around. That's not a criticism; taking this approach requires a self-confidence in your abilities, and it's confidence they have deservedly earned over the last few years. We're living in tense times right now and there is already so much music out there on the more serious end of the spectrum, so it's nice to hear something with a distinctly more chilled vibe, from a band not taking themselves too seriously.
It's a vibe that definitely matches their look; Blossoms normally look like they've walked straight out of Woodstock in 1969. It suits them well, as one could imagine that this album would have gone down very well at such an event. It's clear where they take their influences from, and they do these influences justice, with Foolish Loving Spaces again providing us with indie-pop goodness. It's a strong and solid entry into their catalogue, and though it lacks a 'wow' factor, it does more than enough to help you enjoy your day just that little bit more.