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Balaban and the Bald Illegals – Blossom

With the recording schedule of their aptly names second album Post Truth Apocalypse Blues’ becoming another victim of the virus, Balaban and the Bald Eagles have treated us to a little teaser of what is to come with new single Blossom.

Hailing from Stourbridge, they seem to be the latest Black Country band to perfect the moody indie sound which has proved popular in these parts. I wouldn’t say this track doesn’t quite evoke images of smoggy chimneys over the Dudley skyline, but it’s certainly got the local vibes running through it. 

The looping riff relentlessly repeating throughout really sets this out as an indie track at heart, but the other elements they have crammed into this four minutes thirty-nine feast really do set it apart from many others. The previously mentioned ‘moodiness’ that comes through via the vocals and the lyrics give you two almost polarising vibes, but still manage to complement each other regardless. 

Speaking of the vocals, for me, they are what give this tune it spark of uniqueness. That is not to put the instrumentals on this one down at all, they are very impressive, but instead of getting the typical voice you expect when listening to the into, it is a nice surprise to find a more unpolished, raw vocal sound. It just works with this track superbly.

The thing that will stick with you most from this track though is the chorus. Anthemic as it bursts in “Like a blossom tree..” even locked down with all gig venues closed it still conjures up images of it being live, and makes you long to see it in such environment. To liken it to a band from just up the road from them, it is comparable to a Twang chorus in the way it is both powerful and melodic in tandem.

The melancholic vibes of this new tune are in many ways fitting of the environment it has found itself released into. It doesn’t feel like a happy-go-lucky sort of track, but it does find light shining though the dreariness. Let’s hope Covid doesn’t hold this album back too long.