With a new EP coming out in January, the London-based singer/songwriter is excited to perform her new music live.
I sit across from Blossom Caldarone at a coffee shop in Shoreditch, and she assures me that she got her hair dyed blonde way before Billie Eillish. ‘Have you eaten? I don’t get people who don’t eat breakfast… there’s a bagel shop around the corner that’s amazing, so cheap too… we can go there later’.
Blossom’s warmth and sociability makes you feel like you’re a close friend, and a chance meeting at a music video shoot (for her good friend and fellow BRIT School alum Rosie Alena) led to our interview. Her talent for writing youthful and honest lyrics has been well documented since she first started releasing official tracks over five years ago, now she says ‘I’m not 17 anymore… but we are still young… like, there’s no rush and I think that still shows in my writing’.
Many people, rather lazily, compare her music to an early Lily Allen. However her classic arrangements, featuring heavy string-writing, places her music in a time that predates Brit-pop. In her words she is more like a ‘gobby version of the Carpenters’.
Her on stage presence mirrors her approach to lyrics, ‘I have no qualms saying on stage that I’m having a sh*t day… other people may find that uncomfortable but I think it’s funny… I’m just a bloody open book!’ I’m sure many artists can admire Blossom’s ability to be so personal, and writing ‘with the intention of nobody hearing it’ is solid advice she gives to anyone who wants to bare their soul. Locked away on her laptop are completed demos that have never seen the light of day – ‘maybe they’ll get released if I join the 27 club’ she jokes.
On the subject of the macabre, it feels appropriate to ask her about predicting Michael Jackson’s death: ‘how do you know about that!?’ she laughs, ‘Yeah I did. In my dream he died and I came down the stairs and asked my grandma and she said yeah but it just happened now! Everyone thinks it’s not true and the only person who backed me was my grandma’.
Blossom’s music is not directly linked to the supernatural, moreso it is her love of fable and story that guides her content: ‘The reliability of the supernatural world is up for discussion, and I love that. How much of it is story, and how much of it is true? Much like my songs, I love to lyrically create another reality’.
‘I’d definitely get involved in a ouija board, but in America rather than the UK… it’s like my American dream.’ I try to explain to her that the sixth sense is not region locked, but her logic is strong: ‘MJ is American so maybe it’s only there I can tap into it.’
Photo Credits: Clint Frift
Spooky stories marks an interesting change from the usual hum-drum of interviews for Blossom, but we must circle back to her new music. The 5-track EP, set to be released in early February, aims to bring her audience back into the realms of live music. ‘I wanted to be as authentic as possible… live music is so important to me, especially after COVID’. Blossom has three live shows planned in London before the year is out, and the new tracks promise to have ‘the most storytelling’ so far: ‘there’s so many lyrics to remember…I’m almost rapping at some points’.
Blossom wants to take a step back from electronic overproduction in her songs, wanting a more ‘live’ acoustic sound; a deliberate move considering that in May of 2020, seven of the ten most-watched music streamers on Twitch were electronic: ‘There’s not a lot of electronic in it… I want the EP to translate as well on stage as it does on the record’. When she performs it is often not just a band; her arrangements include woodwind and luscious string sections. ‘I think that comes more from my love of 50s, 60s, 70s music, and then the vocals and songwriting, that’s more classically inspired’.
Despite taking inspiration from these eras (she shows off the scarf she ‘borrowed’ from her Auntie with no shame) Blossom does have a good relationship with social media: ‘I’m quite aware of what I’m being shown, and when I do post I reap the rewards…’ but in regards to her online self promotion she wishes ‘it wasn’t so important’. It’s a necessary evil that artists of today need to navigate without compromising their music. Luckily Blossom never does, surmising that ultimately ‘it’s a pain in the arse, really’.
After chatting we head to the bagel shop, and she waits until we are definitely out of earshot before telling me the ‘big bagel drama’: ‘so it’s a family business and the son killed his mother and sister… it was in the papers all over London’. Winning back the public’s trust is clearly on the shop’s mind, because there is so much salmon in this £2.40 bagel. A songwriter who understands great value for money is one we can all get behind.