The scent of honesty, memory and healing marks ‘Perfume’.
FEATURE | MAX BLOOM | WORDS BY KARL JOHNSON
If you’ve been following Max Bloom’s progress over the last year or so, you’ve probably heard ‘To Be Alone’. The heartfelt piano-led debut single which signalled a mournful and touching record in the works. That’s kind of right, but it’s also so much more. Fans will find pieces that echo cult London outfit Yuck, but the overall jigsaw is comprised from a new box of influences.
Following on from the Lennon-esque opener, ‘Cold Hard Light’ sheds that anxious feeling and offer’s something breezier. Think Real Estate at their most thoughtful with an added sprinkle of Americana. Enter ‘Call Me When It’s Over’, the album’s more natural stand out single. The song’s angular guitar lead and rigid grooves provide a welcome euphoric moment.
‘Perfume’ is all about emotional ups and downs, if you flicked through our interview with Max Bloom late last year, ‘Yuck, going solo and risk-taking‘, you’ll know this is of course a breakup record of sorts. ‘Thinking ‘Bout You’ represents one of those ‘up’ moments, trumpets soar and guitars lick an air of positivity in the room. ‘Forever Now’ is a joyous track and somewhat a ride down memory lane with it’s hypnotic rhythm and story telling nature.
‘Bottle’ is the slow-burning classic every good album needs, a euphoric sing-along with a heartbreaking lyrical sentiment, “When I smell your perfume, it pulls me under, when I drive past your house, it pulls me under”. The track also contains the hardest hitting guitar parts on the record, it’s the album’s big emotional release both lyrically and sonically.
‘Perfume’ is a surprisingly uplifting record, it feels like it was built to heal as much as it was to let go. It’s allowed Max Bloom to express himself using a new musical palette, shedding his Yuck skin. Lyrically the record is as honest and open an album as you’ll hear all year. It’s intricate moments of instrumentation alongside an expansive soundscape, allows the listener to shift through the gears of grief one step and one track at a time.
Listen to ‘Perfume’ in full here.