It’s a new era for Pip Blom as they announce their third album, ‘Bobbie.’ The new album sees her and the band take a delightful left turn into thumping, carefree synth pop.
Produced by Dave McCracken, crafted on computers and featuring synths, the album marks a departure in sound, but as ever with Pip Blom, their knack for colourful and vivacious pop shines through across the 12 tracks.
Having previously released ‘Tiger,’ the band have a brand new single ‘This Is Love?’ feat. Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand.
Talking about ‘Is This Love?’ and the process of collaborating with Alex, the band said:
“The nice thing about working with Alex, besides the fact that the atmosphere was really good, was that we both had quite different perspectives. Whereas I am a bit more rock by nature, Alex is a lot funkier. And that turned out to be the perfect addition for this song, both in the verses and completely in the chorus. Never before has such a funky Pip Blom song appeared, and we all absolutely love it.”
For their third album, Bobbie, Pip Blom, the band’s namesake and main writer, decided to rip it up and start again. After making her name as one of the brightest indie rock singers around through two albums and a lauded live show honed over gruelling years of touring, the new album sees her and the band take a delightful left turn into thumping, carefree synth pop.
While admitting to the cliché of a guitar-orientated band “grabbing the synths” for album three, this new direction had a real and genuine draw for Blom and foremost in her mind was cult 2010s English pop band Micachu and the Shapes. On her previous albums, Blom wrote songs on the guitar, hoping that the studio process would then allow her to live out her pop dreams through final flourishes added during the recording process. “But we were always then running out of time,” she remembers, “and they ended up as just guitar-y albums.” For Bobbie, work with synthesisers and computers began from the very beginning, and she recruited producer Dave McCracken in a co-writer role to make sure the vision was fully realised.
To immerse herself in this new way of working, Blom worked on the album in separate, intensive bursts of creativity, based around a series of non-stop five-day studio jaunts in her native Netherlands. The songs were then sent to McCraken – whose credits include Jay-Z and Kanye West – to gain a little more “clarity” and be trimmed into the tight, punchy pop hits that make up the new album.
Also on hand to help her achieve her longtime vision were a pair of collaborators that contribute to two of the album’s highlights. Blom’s partner and vocalist of fellow Dutch indie band Personal Trainer, Willem Smit, joins her on the duet ‘Kiss Me By The Candlelight’, a song lifted from an unreleased project from the pair that recalls Metronomy in its minimal, funky disco pop. Elsewhere, McCracken helped her push through initial shyness to reach out to Alex Kapranos of former Pip Blom tourmates Franz Ferdinand, who hops on the album’s giddy highlight, ‘Is This Love?’.
As well as a musical eureka moment, Bobbie is also a lyrical evolution for Blom. “I always find lyrics difficult because I’m not a native speaker,” she says. “I find it hard to spend time on them because it feels a bit forced.” For the new album, she wrote what she calls ‘guide books’ of the general themes and ideas wanting to be tackled, before teaming up with McCracken to sculpt them into songs.
Despite the huge strides taken on album three, it appears to confirm that Bobbie is only the next step in Pip Blom’s journey, and far from a final destination. “I wanna start again,” she and the band sing together to send the album off, revolutionising their sound in the most thrilling of new beginnings. So, so much more is sure to come.
Pip Blom’s live show is always exciting and with this new sound we can’t see what the now trio, do next! This summer the band ope for Blur in their hometown of Amsterdam.
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