In 2021, the most captivating artists create fluidly across different genres and mediums. Each week, we’re profiling a rising artist who proves that versatility is the new norm. We’ll share one song you need to hear, one video you need to see, and finish off with a few questions for the artist.
Name: THE BLOSSOM
Hometown: Sydney / New York City
Current Location: Los Angeles
Reference Points: Grunge, indie, shoegaze, rap, re-contextualization, New York, Harmony Korine, pitbulls, confetti, razor blades, gold teeth, FRUiTS Mag, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Gregg Araki, chipped teeth, and a wonky smile.
Latest Project: 97 BLOSSOM EP
There are high expectations when your debut EP is the first project ever released on Kevin Abstract and Romil Hemnani’s record label VIDEO STORE. Last week, THE BLOSSOM rose to the occasion with a six-song project that is equal parts celebratory and confessional. 97 BLOSSOM explores anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria through an eclectic collage of influences old and new. In the words of a fan on Twitter, THE BLOSSOM sounds like “if the Pixies made music in 2036.”
Last year, THE BLOSSOM independently released a handful of singles including “STILL WITH U” and “ANGEL FANGS.” Right from the start, their ‘90s-influenced sound somehow felt both fresh and familiar. Earlier this year, THE BLOSSOM shared a few SoundCloud loosies before switching gears to focus on the rollout for 97 BLOSSOM. This era has been saturated with visuals so vibrant, you’d think someone tie-dyed your screen. This unmistakable color pallet is consistent across THE BLOSSOM’s outfits, cover artwork, music videos, and merchandise, adding another layer of cohesion to their body of work.
As an artist in the digital age, THE BLOSSOM’s creativity knows no bounds. They tap into every medium at their disposal to make artwork as immediate and meaningful as a late night conversation with your best friend. This past winter, they shared a series of intimate visuals and free-form poetry called DEAR DIARY. Prior to their EP release, they launched theblossom.tv—an endless stream of 97 BLOSSOM snippets, interview fragments, and DIY designs. With just one EP and a handful of singles under their belt, THE BLOSSOM is moving fluidly between mediums and blooming into one of the most exciting artists on the rise.
A SONG YOU HAVE TO HEAR – “HARDCORE HAPPY”
“HARDCORE HAPPY” captures the feeling of tearing out pages from your diary, setting them on fire, and watching them fall to ground in slow motion. This song opens with a modest acoustic guitar before exploding into a collage of modern hip-hop and ‘90s nostalgia. The production is swirling with layers of vocals like thoughts racing through an overactive mind.
THE BLOSSOM shares a montage of memories and insecurities: “When I’m starin’ at the mirror, I just want them all to like me, I just want them all to need me, I just need them all to love me.” THE BLOSSOM’s shapeshifting voice keeps you on your toes throughout the entirety of the song. Their vocals are dynamic, with each line varying in flow and intensity—sometimes soft and inviting, and other times erupting with fury. Between THE BLOSSOM’s animated delivery and detailed production, you’ll discover something new in “HARDCORE HAPPY” every time you hit replay.
A VIDEO YOU HAVE TO WATCH – “BLACK EYE”
The “BLACK EYE” music video is a window into THE BLOSSOM’s soul. The concept is similar to Lorde’s visual for “Tennis Court,” but instead of staring into the camera with a blank expression, THE BLOSSOM is overflowing with emotion. One moment they’re literally shaking with rage and the next thing you know, they’ve collapsed in tears.
THE BLOSSOM shatters every barrier between you and them—the music video is recorded entirely in a room of mirrors with a close up shot of their face. When the video begins, you look deep into their eyes and immediately know that THE BLOSSOM has nothing to hide. Sonically, THE BLOSSOM pours their heart out over elegant grand piano and growling 808s: “I took my pills to feel better. I hated them too. They never worked. Yeah I’m sick of being that girl. Don’t want to be one anymore.” In every respect, this is a performance that takes a hold of your heart and won’t let go. Most of all, their vulnerability is a powerful affirmation that no matter how you feel, you’re not alone.
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR THE BLOSSOM
If you could no longer make music, what would your next project be?
That would be tragic! But I’d continue to create through different visual currational mediums, like creative direction for other artists and designing.
What is the common thread across your body of work?
I use a lot of recurring symbolism in my language, lyrics, and melodies as well as repeat color motifs across all my visuals. Blue, red, green. I also use vibrant and sometimes humorously dark or vulnerable lyrics to re-imagine and express my anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria. I’m really influenced by encapsulating my personality and the duality of joy and pain into different songs, whether that be the juxtaposition and hybrid of genres or just lyrically melancholy lyrics but with a vivacious melody. It’s duality in expression I’m most motivated by.
What is one medium or genre that you’d like to explore next?
A medium I’m teething to explore more is creative direction. I’d really love to work on other people’s projects in that capacity.
What can we expect from you in 2021?
More music, more growing pains, more laughter.