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PIP BLOM

Pip Blom

Welcome Break

    There are approximately a great deal and very many ‘Welcome Breaks’ scattered throughout the sprawling motorways of the UK.

    Now, regardless of whether that statement’s true or not… when life’s become a series of long-stretches and welcomed breaks, it’s to no avail that sometimes all it takes to alleviate spirits is the simplest, of experiential indulgences.

    Be it the buzz of an overly exhausted tour van, or the green light and smell of sausage rolls in the near Beaconsfield distance... inspiration can be found in the funniest corners of this place we call home; and it’s in the heart of day-to-day simplicities and sprawling services, that we gladly receive Amsterdam’s beamy-grinned, indie-pop powerhouse Pip Blom, back into lives.

    Following an extensive touring schedule which saw the Dutch 4-piece roam over field, oceans, and Glastonbury’s John Peel stage following the release of their debut record ‘Boat’, any such cool-cat would be forgiven for wanting to kick back, and indulge in some very appreciated, time off.
    As is often the way, such timely-abandon cannot be said for Pip Blom however, who immediately began to gather up all her soaked-up inspirations taken from the road, and manifest a re-energised sense of self, and ritualistic songwriting.

    Cosying down in a room of her parents’ house (which she shares with her brother and fellow bandmate Tender Blom), Pip, a self-confessed “fan of deadlines”, set aside three months to write twenty songs- sixteen of which
    were to become demos for the band to structure and flesh out, once in the studio together.

    It’s at this stage in our indie-fairy-tale that things start to get ever so 2020. Whilst the world was suddenly put on hold as a result of Covid-19, Pip Blom, who’d made plans to return to their favourite ‘Big Jelly Studios’ in Ramsgate, England, were suddenly faced with a very sticky, kind of dilemma. “We’d scheduled to go into the studio in September but summer started moving and there were a couple of countries not allowed to go to the UK anymore... a week before we had to go, the Netherlands was one of those countries”- notes Pip.

    Sentimentalities, and pre-established friendships (by way of Grammy award-winning engineer Caesar Edmunds) took president, and the decision was made to pack up their gear and a variety of board games and exercise equipment, all in preparation of a fourteen-day quarantine faced upon arrival in the UK.

    In total, three weeks were spent recording what would become the groups sophomore release; a Al Harle engineered love-affair which was self produced entirely by the band and culminated in a legally intimate, fully seated album play-back, to six, of Ramsgate’s most chorus-savvy and ‘in the-know’ residents.

    Getting out of their hometown and into an environment which removed all notions of “normality” or personal space, was an atmospheric godsend in terms of motivation; an act which encouraged Pip Blom to re-adjust and buckle down as a unit again, after spending so long in mandatory isolation.
    Much like the danceable-realism of Pip’s beloved Parquet Courts, the key to an album well done, is the balancing act of fine-production, and capturing that core live-essence we all miss. “We always play one live track three times and after we then build that track in the studio” says Pip, assembling together amalgamated “live-energies” in order to produce a capsule of environmental-satisfaction, that can be appreciated during any time of day, or life’s little moments.

    Actively seeking out moments of creative-authenticity, be it via a slightly out-of-tune guitar or proudly-fuzzed vocals, Pip Blom take us back full circle and introduce us to their ‘Welcome Break’- an eleven-track release which resonates with about as much decisive allure as it’s ‘Boat’ precursor, but this time with a bit more contemporary chaos to boot.

    Where ‘Boat’ reckoned as a fresh-faced, yet gloriously fearless game changer, ‘Welcome Break’ is the self-assured older sibling who, with an additional year or two behind themselves, isn’t afraid to speak out, take lead, and instigate a liberated revolution-come-bliss-out.

    Lead single’s ‘Keep It Together’ and ‘You Don’t Want This’ are glistening masterclasses in feel-good chorus- the very kind of coming-of-age relatability where a soul would want to let down their hair, stick their arm out the window of their best friends car and roll with the motions in a rapture of soundtracked euphoria, and jangled adventure.

    Unhinging genre in our instant-access era of musical snoot, no-one does an enthused-chorus quite like Pip Blom yet much can be said for this gang being far from one-trick-ponies.

    Anthemic drifters ‘Different Tune’ and ‘It Should Have Been Fun’ are slow building, amplified highlights. Carrying all the weight of convicted fearlessness on their shoulders, Pip Blom unhinge pre-disposed expectations of crafted alternative like graduates straight outta Kim Deal’s school of rock, whilst closing number ‘Trouble In Paradise’, sets the tone for what will only be the ultimate, set-list once gigs resume again.

    With Pip Blom, no mood is untouched nor sense of renewal left behind. The trick to it all? As Pip reveals: “I just really like catchy songs and I feel like that’s something we try to do. I’d classify it as being sentimental – it’s not sugar-happy Pop.... more like ‘Titanic’ pop songs...”

    For those of us missing the buzzed adrenaline of communal music exploration, the idea of escapism in cramped and sweaty crevices can seem quite lifeless. If it's a sense of community you’re after then look no further than ‘Pip Blom Backstage’.

    Streaming goodness 24/7 as a fan-centric loyalty app, ‘Pip Blom Backstage’ gives access to exclusive news, premium content, and, a chat box for the Pip Blom Backstage community; further cementing Pip Blom as undeniable pals for life as fan-clips, spotify playlists and even a cooking lesson from bassist Darek Mercks, are all made available from the VIP lounge of your own back-pocket.

    In conclusion, there're actually thirty-five ‘Welcome Break’ pit stops a weary traveller can make in a lifetime spent on the M1, and it’s associates. Whilst the road’s presently a little less travelled, Pip Blom’s ‘Welcome Break’ is adamantly nothing to do with the present state of affairs. In fact, it doesn’t have anything to do with much at all and that’s the way they like it.
    ‘Welcome Break’ is but two nouns of which when placed together in context, ring confidently with prowess, intent, and a radiant true-spirit - much like Pip Blom herself. 


    TRACK LISTING

    1 You Don't Want This
    2 12
    3 It Should Have Been Fun
    4 Keep It Together
    5 Different Tune
    6 I Know I’m Not Easy To Like
    7 Faces
    8 I Love The City
    9 Easy
    10 Holiday
    11 Trouble In Paradise

    Something special happened to Pip Blom at the tail end of last year. It was a busy twelve months that saw the release of her frenetic EP ‘Paycheck’, two A-Listed singles at 6 Music and support slots to the likes of The Breeders, Franz Ferdinand and Garbage. Capping that off, though, moments before stepping onstage at a sold out Lexington – the London stop-off on her debut UK headline tour – the band put pen to paper and signed to Heavenly Recordings.

    Now, Pip announces her first release for the label – her debut album ‘Boat’, out 31st May 2019.

    Signing to Heavenly was another item crossed off Pip’s to-do list, fulfilment of one of the things she dreamed of since first picking up a guitar and the culmination of a storming 2018 that propelled Pip Blom as one of the year’s most exciting rising guitar bands.

    Growing up intensely shy, it was an uncharacteristic plunge into the limelight during her teens that first kicked off Pip Blom’s musical passage: in the form of answering an advertisement for a songwriting competition.

    Pip earnestly set about writing songs on a Loog guitar, a three-stringed children’s line of the instrument that aids learning, cultivating a 20-minute set and performing for the first time in front of an audience - eventually reaching the semi-finals of said competition. As you have gathered, the story didn’t end there and failing to win was anything but a deterrent.

    Neither was struggling to find band members post-competition. Pip simply ploughed on as she always has, finding a way to make things work with the resources around her. Programming drums on a computer and writing and recording both bass and guitar parts, Pip decided to start self-releasing songs on the internet and it didn’t take long for people to start taking notice.

    Today, that same plucky, head-on attitude characterises everything she does and it’s an absolute joy to behold - whether that’s witnessing her band’s powerfully impressive live show or listening to her honest, heart-on-sleeve approach to writing songs on record.

    And ‘Boat’ is emblematic of that – an open book of Pip Blom, delivered via her undeniable knack for writing a hook-laden, 3-4 minute song; planting it in your head and making it stay there looping days after first hearing it.

    There’s the kinetic combination of guitars from herself and brother Tender Blom, the effortlessly captivating vocal range which can be authoritative and intent like in the driving album opener ‘Daddy Issues’, or soothing and warm as heard in melodic middle track ‘Bedhead’. Then there are the choruses that seem to stop songs in their tracks and lift them into a different stratosphere.

    The album’s earworm quality is something that has been connecting across the waters from her home country of the Netherlands, aside from the aforementioned 6 Music playlists, landing an impressive amount of spins across US college radio and a spot on the coveted Triple J playlist in Australia.

    Listening through, it’s not hard to understand why. The album is wrapped up in a certain energy that, while evident the band put everything into recording it, would indicate they had a blast doing so – its infectious and, most importantly, wholeheartedly believable.

    Dave McCracken bottled up that energy while overseeing the recording at Big Jelly studios in Margate, with the album then mixed by Dillip Harris in a shipping container on the banks of the Thames in East London. Its result is ten songs that, alluding to the album’s title, ferry you through Pip’s headspace via expertly crafted songs gelled together through their unassuming depth.

    Pip Blom are: Pip Blom (vocals, guitar), Tender Blom (vocals, guitar), Darek Mercks (bass), Gini Cameron (drums)

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: Pip has the knack of writing such immediate, hook filled pop songs that they seem immediately familiar, and not just the odd one, a whole album full! If you're a fan of classic 3 minute indie pop then this is an absolute peach!

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Daddy Issues
    2 Don't Make It Difficult
    3 Say It
    4 Tired
    5 Bedhead
    6 Tinfoil
    7 Ruby
    8 Set Of Stairs
    9 Sorry
    10 Aha


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