Omaha trio Icky Blossoms see the UK release of their debut self-titled album through Saddle Creek records on June 3. That seal of approval, combined with a pedigree from the likes of Tilly and the Wall and an album produced by TV on the Radio’s David Sitek, should provide a sense that this is a band to pay attention to.
Icky Blossoms formed in the blizzard of 2011 through friendship, trials and a mutual desire to make art and new music. It was a brainchild born from the boredom of sitting still. Guitarist and vocalist Derek Pressnall met Icky Blossoms vocalist Sarah Bohling and lead guitarist Nik Fackler in the vibrant Omaha art scene and invited them to play in his band Flowers Forever. Enchanted by endless nights in clubs and inspired with a desire to program dance music with instantaneous grooves and depth, Pressnall (an acclaimed visual artist) and Fackler (a spirit- award nominated filmmaker) combined with Bohling’s mesmerizing voice to form Icky Blossoms.
Icky Blossoms combine bass-heavy electronic grooves, pop structure and a rock & roll swagger to pioneer a sound on the audio vanguard: music that is simultaneously avant garde, catchy and danceable. Their music spans from the anthemic to the introverted. Each band member arrives at the group from distinct musical backgrounds and collectively cite varied influences including contemporary pop, electronic, hip hop, experimental, no wave and world music. When Derek, Sarah and Nik each input their particular inspirations they create a final product that is not only wholly unexpected but greater than the sum of its parts.
The album kick starts with Heat Lightning, swinging the album into full motion. It’s got a great beat and is similar to Two Door Cinema Club’s sound. Track two I Am is another energetic song with distorted punk-rock vocals. It’s a mix of the 70s punk-rock scene and the 80s electro sound.
Sex To The Devil is the strangest song on the record and takes a while to become accustomed to. Sex To The Devil has a very synthesised sound with strange lyrics sung in a monotonous way. It’s definitely a step away from their usual sound. The monotonously sung lyrics have a sort of spoken-word style. This song is certainly a bit like Scissor Sisters’ Kiki where it has a dance beat not to be taken too seriously. The lyrics are quite artistic though, “Church to God/God to the universe/The universe to art/Art to drugs/Drugs to sex/Sex to the devil…” There’s something mind-provoking and artistic about those words.
Cycle is the first track that isn’t just a huge electro mess, it’s very relaxed compared to the previous, more energetic dance tracks. Next track Deep in the Throes brings it back to dance. It’s an upbeat number with a great rhythm. Deep In The Throes is also Icky Blossoms’ new single and can be heard here. Deep In The Throes is a fantastic example of what you can expect to hear on their debut album.
Throughout the whole album, the vocals swap between female and male and sometimes both can be heard singing, harmonising together. This helps to keep the record interesting. It provides variation and layers to the songs.
Track six Babes is another Scissor Sisters inspired song sounding again familiar to the sound of Kiki. There are the monotonous yet seductive spoken-word style vocals in the verses. It’s anthemic to say the least.
The end of album seems to be much more chilled out compared to the first half. Although the first half does have a few more chilled out tracks it’s mainly heavily dance and synth-based. Track nine Stark Weather has rhythm and melody to it and is the best track on the record. There’s deep, bassy vocals and real drums which means there’s a lot less focus on the synthesised sounds. The harmonies are brilliant and gives the song an extra layer. The whole track feels more real than the previous ones. The lyrics, “So you go and get your gun now baby/We can go steal a car now baby…” will stay in your head. This is the catchiest song lyrically on the release. Perfect Vision is also another more relaxed electronic blend of lazy drum beats, summery guitar riffs and slothful, harmonised vocals.
Icky Blossoms’ debut album will please most people. There are songs on there that will instantly have your feet tapping and lead you to the dance floor without hesitation but there are also the more relaxed, electronica sounds such as Perfect Vision that will provide a great theme tune to your summer. Icky Blossoms’ self-titled debut album is out on June 3 through Saddle Creek Records.