As Blossoms release their new ’70s-inspired single ‘Care For’, the band have spoken to NME about the track and shared a few details about their next album.
Written in 2019 and recorded last year during lockdown with frequent collaborators James Skelly of The Coral and Rich Turvey, the Stockport band’s latest offering comes as the first taster of new material following their acclaimed third album, ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’.
“It was literally the first one I wrote after the last record,” frontman Tom Ogden told NME at this weekend’s Boardmasters Festival. “We always loved it but we didn’t know what we were gonna do with it. So when it came around to doing something new we knew we needed to put it out.”
Led by a sweeping set of strings and a vibrant, feel-good piano riff, ‘Care For’ flows with modern Bee Gees ’70s feel. Even though Blossoms are fans of disco, Ogden said this wasn’t intentional.
“I wrote it the way I’d write any other song,” he explained, “but I do feel it’s the furthest we’ve dipped our toe into that disco world – and we are massive fans of stuff like that.
“It has real strings on it, and that gives it a real step into ABBA and Bee Gees; all that ‘70s stuff has real strings on it. It reminds me of ‘You To Me Are Everything’ by The Real Thing; I always loved that tune.”
Before making it in music, Ogden and bandmate Joe Donovan – who is also his brother-in-law – used to work in a Stockport hotel called the Alma Lodge. During their time working weddings, birthdays and singles nights at the venue, Ogden said the pair heard a lot of disco and ’70s music that would later inspire their own musical output. “Those kind of songs would always come on and I think they just went into my system, and they always get people up dancing. It’s like feel-good wedding music,” he said.
The strings on the track were played by Rosie Danvers, known for her work on Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ and Adele‘s ‘Set Fire To The Rain’. Recorded over Zoom, Danvers laid the stings down at London’s RAK Studios while Blossoms watched from home.
“We had always wanted to do real strings,” Ogden told NME. “Some synths sound like strings, so originally Myles [Kellock, the band’s keyboardist] put on the string part, but using like a fake string sound, and then when the discussion came around about doing real strings we just replaced the synth fake strings. We got Rosie to play what Myles had done.”
He continued: “We had the main string line but then she would do the Hollywood bit, the things that string players do, and we were like, wow. It took it to the next level for us.”
Speaking on the Zoom recording process, Donovan said: “It was mental. We had to do a live feed from the studio. We were all sat in our living room listening like, ‘This sounds amazing.’ It was really weird, but it was class, though.”
The piano arrangement on ‘Care For’ was conceived in Ogden’s newly renovated first home with wife Katie Donovan (the pair tied the knot earlier this month). “I got a piano in our house when we moved in,” he explained. “We had a renovation so there was shit everywhere for a while but once we got a room sorted I put a piano in there.
“A lot of the songs on the last album, like ‘The Keeper’, were written on it, and now ‘Care For’, and that’s why it’s very piano driven.”
The song’s lyrics hear Ogden open up about how his wife helped change him for the better. “I was a jealous man, I’m my old self again/ I’ve got to learn something from my mistakes and now/ She only gets better, she’s beyond measure/ She is my dead centre,” he sings in the opening lines.
“It’s very direct,” Ogden said of the track. “It’s probably one of the only ones on the next record that is like that. The last record was like that, with declarations of love and all that kind of stuff. This new one was kinda following on from that. The lyrics on it are straight to bone. It’s just an honest love song.
“A lot of the time in the past I’ve stolen little lyrics from things I’ve been reading but this wasn’t like that. This was one of the ones that kinda just fell out.”
‘Care For’ is set to appear on Blossoms’ next full-length album, although they were somewhat coy about the mysterious nature of its themes and release.
“I’m not sure what I can actually say,” Ogden told NME, before Donovan, laughing, jumped in and said: “Fuck it, it’s an album. No band just releases a random single. It’s usually followed by something.”
“OK, we have done an album,” Ogden went on to admit, “we’re just working out the fine details.” Asked whether he had any idea when it might arrive, Ogden said it would “probably be next year”.
“I fucking hope so,” Donovan added. “I feel like we’ve been sitting on it for ages now. I purposely haven’t listened to [‘Care For’] in ages. I just try not to listen to your new stuff because by the time you come to actually playing it live you’re kinda bored of it and you’re onto the next.”
Blossoms are set to follow-up recent festival performances at Boardmasters and Tramlines with their rescheduled UK tour, which kicks off on August 30 at Bonus Arena in Hull, with support from The Magic Gang and The Lathums. They’ll also be supporting Courteeners at their upcoming homecoming gig at Old Trafford in Manchester along with Johnny Marr, Zuzu and The Big Moon on Saturday September 25.
See the band’s upcoming tour dates below. Visit here for remaining tickets and more information.
30 – Bonus Arena, Hull
31 – O2 Academy, Glasgow
2 – Engine Shed, Lincoln
3 – Victoria Hall, Stoke-On-Trent
4 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
7 – Junction, Cambridge
9 – O2 Academy, Leeds
11 – O2 Academy, Newcastle
13 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
14 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
15 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
17 – O2 Academy, Leicester
18 – AO Arena, Manchester