Photo Credit: Rob Lambert, Logan Gunzenhauser, and Danielle Sereno
It seems like every day there’s a new synth-pop band appearing and some definitely stand out over than others. For us, True Blossom is one of those bands that is doing just that. The Atlanta outfit dropped their debut album Heater via Citrus City Records back in mid-January and enchanted us with their inviting, ethereal style of pop. The record holds breezy, lush layers throughout each song, which compliments lead singer Sophie Cox’s delicate, clean vocals as they confront the in’s and out’s of day-to-day life and the challenge that love can continuously be. It’s an album that brings a smile to your face and we can’t wait to see what they deliver in their sophomore effort.
Read on as True Blossom breaks down what tracks should be played at a good ol’ summer block party…
Our theme is a summer block party. In some cities folks might just shut down the street, in Atlanta, you’re more likely to be by a pool or a fire pit or something, either way’s fine. If you don’t have a PA system, just open all the doors on the Toyota and crank it. If you’re a teenager, sneak a beer out the cooler or find the aunt that’ll sneak one for you.
“Jump to the Beat” by Stacy Lattisaw – This is off of my favorite Stacey Lattisaw album, Let Me Be Your Angel. This track has such a fun bass line and the perfect amount of cowbell. Its all about letting go of any fear you have and just letting yourself dance and jump to that sick beat.
“I Don’t Dance” by OMNI – An irony that this is one of the only songs that makes me dance. This song manages to be fun and melancholy. There’s heat and heaviness to the song like a summer night in the south. Love that the lyrics encourage respecting other people’s autonomy: “What do you think she owes you? Settle down, young man. What do you think she owes you? She doesn’t know you.”
“That’s Us / Wild Combination” by Arthur Russell – Not exactly a party starter this one, especially for a dude that used to make genre disco tracks, but this has got to be one of the most beatific, blissed recordings ever put to tape. I imagine it a great soundtrack for high-ass teenagers wandering the block party right around sunset, kids eating cotton candy, slow-motion dancing in fire hydrant spray, etc. Basically, like the video to Zan Wit Dat Lean.
“Never Too Much” – Luther Vandross – This song will bring out the intergenerational dance party. Nothing more beautiful than Luther’s silky voice and it belongs at every gathering. Plus I’m a sucker for songs where the narrator skips work to fool around instead. (Or you know, heads to the block party!)
“Echo Arms” by Mr Twin Sister – I don’t really know what this song is about (maybe love?). It’s a bit cryptic lyrically, but that’s not the point since this song undeniably slaps. I can’t imagine anyone not grooving to this. Lush synths, sexy vocals, and funky rhythm section. What more could you want?
“Collapsing At Your Doorstep” by Air France – This record’s become a bit of a cult classic, but it’s hard to pin down exactly why, even for a devoted fan like me. It has something to do with how all these soft, balearic house sounds are used to build something confrontational and powerful, but even that power is hard to explain. There’s the lyrics about throwing bottles and whatever, but I think it’s more just the sound of it. It sounds like you could wear this song like armor.
“Keep It Comin'” by The Jones Girls – The Jones Girls is one of my all-time favorite disco groups. Their ability to layer and blend instruments combined with their perfect back-up vocals makes them geniuses in my mind. Keep It Comin’ is one of my favorite tracks by them. It’s a challenge not to dance along as they encouragingly sing to keep it comin’.
“Boogie Island” by Shormey – Shormey released on Citrus City too, but she’d be on my playlist even if that wasn’t the case. I’m so into this EP and the first track is a feel-goodie and a little sad too, just the way I like them. I’d want Shormey to play towards the end of the block party so I could watch my friends sway, high as heck, basking in the thrill of seeing the full band live.
“Laisse Tomber les Filles” by France Gall – It’s impossible to hear this song and not do the shim sham, the monkey, or some other groovy move. Incidentally, that main guitar riff also will cultivate a desire to get up to some mischief, so careful with this one!
“Sunlight” by Herbie Hancock – This song is off of one of my favorite disco records. The best jazz musicians in the world played on it and as a result, there’s a wild mix of jazz/Latin/disco fusion that I’ve never heard in disco before. I’m also a big fan of the vocoder effect Herbie uses on the song. In today’s context, it could be considered a cheap trick, but it gets me every time.
Take a listen to the playlist below and you catch True Blossom play next at the Irrelevant Music Festival in Atlanta on Friday, July 19th at 529.