The Stockport band’s third album of expansive gems is a celebration of love so puppy-eyed it evokes the Osmonds
Towards the beginning of the last decade, with indie conclusively out to pasture, a handful of male groups that might once have made mileage out of beefing in the NME cannily started acting more like boybands. The 1975, Cabbage and Blossoms embraced their female fanbases, not to mention the role of the floppy-haired pin-up, and stopped slagging off pop. Blossoms, a five-piece from Stockport, go the whole hog on album three, a “celebration of love” so puppy-eyed it evokes the Osmonds. While they’ve boldly cited Stop Making Sense, The Joshua Tree and Screamadelica as influences, on Foolish Loving Spaces, they sound more like exuberantly uncool prepunk pop: Abba, Slade, the Bay City Rollers. It’s not dissimilar to the recent Harry Styles album, had Styles let down his guard.
The uncool comparisons are no slight against Blossoms: Foolish Loving Spaces is delightful, full of tight gems such as The Keeper, which layers stomping piano, gospel backing vocals and a final touch of fizzing guitar, and If You Think This Is Real Life, which channels Graceland’s festive earnestness. It’s often expansive: frontman Tom Ogden evinces wry McCartney charm on Your Girlfriend, and My Swimming Brain pulls off velvety disco glamour, as if Tame Impala cleared away the stoner haze and wrote some actual choruses. Ogden’s declarations of love become a little breathless by the end (“I’ve never been so sure about it – can you tell?”), and Romance, Eh? leans too far into drippy, good-boy 70s music, but the band’s marvellously uncool overhaul is endearing and well turned.
New album Fooling Loving Spaces follows on from 2018’s Cool Like You and, like its predecessor, was produced by James Skelly (of the The Coral) und Rich Turvey at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. The band name U2, The Talking Heads and Primal Scream as some of their influences for the new record:
"It’s just a pure celebration of love in all of its splendid and baffling guises, toying with the so-called sins of lust and forbidden infatuation … inspired, in ways, by a summer spent listening to Stop Making Sense, The Joshua Tree & Screamadelica"
To celebrate the album’s release, the band will embark on a massive UK tour in March 2020, including a date at Manchester Arena, as well as three nights at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town.