Joe Cadman discusses how Blossoms acquired such a meteoric rise to fame and chart-topping status, as well as answering the important question of, are they any good?
Why are Blossoms so popular? The 5 piece from Stockport's self titled debut is currently number one in the album charts. By the looks of things, their popularity is about to sky rocket in a similar fashion to fellow guitar pop heavyweights 'Ladfish and The Bottlemen'. But many have been left wondering how and why has this happened?
For starters they do at least look the part, all long hair and denim jackets, and they do seem to be nice, genuine people. Not everyone would give a fan a tenner in the middle of a festival set so they can buy a ticket to their gig but Tom Ogden (frontman) did just that.
But the biggest problem with the band is that if you scratch the surface of their sound, there's not a lot beneath it. If you take away their gimmick of synths and keyboards, all that's left is just another average pop band. Most of their bass lines are ripped straight from Arctic Monkeys and you can happily sing the chorus to Knee Socks over the breakdown in Charlamagne. Also the backing to My Favourite Room is incredibly similar to Music When The Lights Go Out by The Libertines and during the majority of their set at Y Not, it was very easy to find yourself singing a totally different song over the top of what Blossoms were churning out. Yes, it can be hard for a band to sound original, but when Blossoms are aiming to be a radio friendly pop band masquerading as something indie, they were never going to sound original.
But maybe that's the answer to the question as to why Blossoms have achieved the success that they have. There's a sense of the familiar in the music they produce but with just enough of a difference to make people not question it. Obviously Blossoms aren't the first band to do this, but it's quite possible that the reason they are so popular is because they've hit the nail on the head of what it takes to be popular in the current climate of guitar music. Be nice and 'working class' whilst creating bland pop music that's catchy enough to get into the heads of anyone under 18 and blurs the lines between what's pop and what's indie.
And of course not forgetting the a very vital factor; the backing of a major label. Being signed to a label like Virgin EMI, as Blossoms are, means that they can elegantly float to the top of the pile with minimum effort. Now, without criticising them for signing to a major as the majority of bands given the chance would do the same, with corporate power behind them it's no wonder Blossoms are as popular as they are. With major label backing an album that's just the sounds of Van McCann taking a shit would go straight to number one in the album charts, especially with album sales the way they are in 2016.
Herein lies the problem of the current crop of indie-pop guitar bands; banal bands sell records due to major label influence whilst the rest struggle to scrape together the cash to do anything meaningful. But that's the injustice of the music business for you. If you're not vanilla enough for a major label, you can kiss great success goodbye. This leaves us as the consumer with 2 options: either happily eat the shit sundae these labels serve us like a good general public, or try and at least seek some sort of actual alternative in genuine indie bands like Hinds, The Magic Gang, Best Friends, Eagulls & Inheaven.
However, maybe Blossoms have merely come along at the right time. Cleverly exploiting the lack of synths and keyboards in the boring world of radio friendly guitar music. Or they could even be another band who've been swept up in the commercial aspect of selling boring music to 16 year olds. Or maybe they're actually decent and it's only cynicism that would make anyone think otherwise.