INTERVIEW: Blóm | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Forming mid-way through last year, Blóm describe themselves online as “three cute punx playing pua radge shit”, and there’s certainly a very immediate and distinct raw energy about the band which is impossible to ignore.

Blóm’s first release, Powerfrau/Skank Witch, comes out on London-based noise rock label Hominid Sounds on 11th May. The two songs are a powerful burst of kinetic intensity, as the furious drumming of Liz McDade and frenetic bass playing of Erika meet the explosively shrieked vocals of Helen Walkinshaw.

Helen’s conversational lyrics range from topics she feels are natural to discuss. “Powerfrau is about Theresa May. More specifically a ‘feminist’ podcast I was listening to during the last American election. The panel were discussing the importance of female leaders, due to them being more motherly, maternal and nurturing – which is bullshit. I quote different leaders throughout the song, from Indira Ghandi to Adolf Hitler, pitching them against each other out of context to show how their messages can be misleading. The Skank Witch lyrics are inspired by things people have said to me in a work capacity. Flipping the role and screaming them at people, rather than having them screamed at me.”

I quote different leaders throughout the song, from Indira Ghandi to Adolf Hitler, pitching them against each other out of context to show how their messages can be misleading

Equally as direct as the sonic assault of Blóm is the artwork for the release. Liz explains: “The artwork for the single is a collaborative piece between me and Erika. We wanted the cover to show Theresa May for the monster she is and I think we’ve achieved it. She’s floating around in front of Grenfell Tower amongst piles and piles of rubbish. No-one should forget how little she did and is still doing in the aftermath of that tragedy.”

Powerfrau and Skank Witch were recorded by Stuart Walkinshaw (Tensticks) in Blóm’s practice room and mastered by Michael Bridgewater (Shy-Talk). “Both Stu and Mikey had seen us play live a few times prior, so understood what sound we were trying to achieve. They are both super talented legendary dream babes.”

The recordings and artwork feel like they capture the spirit of Blóm, so I was interested whether the band taking a DIY approach to their release was a choice or a necessity. “The majority of bands have no other option than to ‘DIY’. Or at least, the people we surround ourselves with seem to have no other option.” Helen replies. “Trying to create art alongside working full-time means where/when you can be self-sufficient to save time and money, you will be! Nowadays however it seems the ‘DIY’ music scene comes with certain connotations. More recently bands and promoters have coined the term and it has become a genre of its own. We know tonnes of artists who do absolutely everything themselves; recording, releasing, press, artwork, printing their own merch, booking tours, promoting gigs etc. yet won’t be described as ‘DIY’ because of the type of music they are making.”

See the band in all their radgy glory at the single’s release party at Head of Steam, Newcastle on Friday 11th May, with support from Dead Naked Hippies, Casual Threats and GGAllan Partridge.



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