Meet Pip Blom

The most excellent Liv Siddall has written about Pip Blom, signing to Heavenly and the utterly lush debut LP Boat. We couldn’t pick our favourite bit, so here is all of it…

PIP_BLOM.jpg


On one of the hottest days of 2018 – and let’s face it, there were a fair few of those – Jeff and Danny from Heavenly were at Sounds From the Other City festival in Salford. They’d heard some singles by Pip Blom and were fighting their way through sweltering, sweat-soaked crowds to see her play for the first time. Pip’s slot clashed with Jeff and Danny DJing elsewhere on-site, so the pair of them tag-teamed back and forth on a motorbike, taking turns to fight their way to the front to see Pip and her band. What they witnessed blew them away. In contrast to the relatively clean sound of the singles and the sweetness of Pip’s voice was a roaring indie punk show which saw the audience climb up the walls and furniture to see the the band thrash around on stage, Pip barely audible over the noise, her brother Tender, topless, throwing himself all over the stage. Jeff and Danny couldn’t believe what they were seeing, it was the first time they had seen the band, and it was the moment they decided to close the door on a jam-packed 2018 by securing Pip and her band. They just couldn’t resist.

It’s no surprise, Pip’s sound is incredibly seductive. The rapidly-spreading intrigue about her music propelled her forward. Out of nowhere arrived this girl who looks like a ruddy-cheeked character in a Vermeer painting, with an endlessly listenable vocal range and catchy songs delivering jerky, angsty pop with an appealingly angelic slant. Like the blue-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt qualities of a young Damon Albarn, a big part of Pip’s appeal is watching her or hearing her transform from softly spoken vocalist to really letting rip. Her voice is that of someone who’s always suppressing a smile, there’s sunny energy trapped inside her like a jar of glow worms. It’s infectious, and you can hear it shine through her songs.

Despite her parents being entrenched in the music industry (Pip’s dad was in one of John Peel’s favourite bands, Eton Crop), Pip was too shy to consider being on stage until she uncharacteristically stepped into the limelight when, during her teens, she saw an advert for a songwriting competition. Grabbing her dad’s new Loog guitar (a three-stringed instrument designed for children) she penned a bunch of tracks and entered herself.

A few months later she had written and performed a 20-minute set, got to the semi finals of the competition and, most importantly, firmly realised that this is what she wanted to do. Her favourite band back then was Parquet Courts, so she thought to herself: “’I want to be the female Parquet Courts because…why not?”

Pip tried to recruit a band, but didn’t get very far, so she decided to just plough on alone as a one man show: programming all the drums on a computer, playing bass and guitar and writing all the songs for six months. When she had written four songs she was really happy with she decided to systematically release them, one song per-week on every Tuesday of February.

Before long, one of Pip’s tracks popped up on Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist and pretty much overnight, word started getting around about this exponentially talented and previously unheard-of teenager from Amsterdam.

After various line-up changes to her band, Pip finally managed to recruit a strong, dream-team of a group. The new ensemble is made up of Darek Mercks on bass, Gini Cameron on drums and Pip’s brother, Tender on vocals and guitar. “It’s great to be with him in a band: he’s not always easy, neither am I, but it’s really nice to be with someone in a band that knows you so well,” says Pip. “Musically, he’s the sort of person that belongs on a stage. You could see that from the first moment when we played live. That wasn’t the case with me, I was very shy but determined to learn. He didn’t have to!”

Boat

Towards the end of 2018 the band made Boat: a collection of undeniably Pip Blom songs delivered with a bit more bite. “Before we had even made the album I had decided that I wanted to call it Boat after I envisioned a really big cruise ship in the even bigger ocean,” Pip explains. “When I think of boats I think of journeys, traveling, going somewhere and having a goal. And I think that that has been what the last couple of years have been for us.”

Boat was recorded in Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate with Dave McCracken who’s previously worked on albums by Ian Brown and Beyonce among others. It’s no surprise that Pip wanted to record the album in the UK. She’s a total, self-confessed Anglophile. She’s obsessed with Glastonbury despite never having been, she adores and is audibly inspired by Britpop, and it’s some of the UK’s radio DJs that first gave her the leg up that she needed. “Our focus has been on the UK from the beginning,” says Pip. “One of the producers from Mark Riley’s show had one of our songs in her Discover Weekly playlist and he really liked it and started playing it quite often. We thought; ‘well, alright, people like it in the UK, so let’s go there and play.’

Pip and her band arrived at Big Jelly in Ramsgate with 19 songs which they whittled down and perfected, infusing each recording with their experiences of living together in the studio, swimming in the sea, and making music together as a new band. After a few weeks, the finished Boat was mixed by Dilip Harris, requested by Pip because of his work with one of Pip’s favourite bands Micachu & The Shapes.

The record opens with Daddy Issues: nearly five minutes of indie power blasting you into the album. “When you hear those first power chords coming in, you know that Daddy Issues is the only candidate to open the album,” says Pip. To be honest though, there isn’t one track on Boat that couldn’t be the opener. It’s a ragged but punctual journey of sugar-coated indie punk, showcasing a band who seem to have found the ability to effortlessly churn out hit after hit after hit.

Pip’s in a very interesting space sonically; with the help of a dedicated band, Pip has evolved her sound away from simple, hooky tunes to expertly-crafted songs with unassuming depth. Although, she’d never actually admit to it. She’s too modest. “I hope that if you listen to boat, you can hear the different routes we explored…We took our time and it was quite a journey, but I think it was time for us to finally release an album,” says Pip. “We’ve grown so much as a band, both live and in terms of songwriting. Our boat hasn’t reached its final destination yet, but if think with releasing this album, it’s a great pit stop.”

Pip Blom - Vocals | Guitar
Tender Blom - Guitar | Vocals
Darek Mercks - Bass
Gini Cameron - Drums

Will Burns & Hannah Peel announce 'Chalk Hill Blue'

We confirmed last week that Will Burns and Hannah Peel would be joining us at Sea Change this year - they will be playing in our stunning St Mary’s Church venue - and we’re really excited today to start talking about their really quite beautiful Chalk Hill Blue collaborative album. Produced by Erland Cooper, it’s released on the immaculate Rivertones label on Friday 22 March. It’s going to be a big part of the year at Sea Change and Drift .

Hannah and Will

Chalk Hill Blue is a record of electronic ruralism channeling lives threaded through the chalk landscapes of Southern England. Watch Will and Hannah introduce it below.

Perhaps if Delia Derbyshire’s later years in Cumbria had been happier then a record like this might have emerged from the fells, or alternatively if Virginia Astley’s gardens had contained a modular synth or two. Other triangulation points might include Hans Joachim Roedelius’s bucolic kosmiche reveries, Joanna Brouk’s new age minimalism, or James Yorkston’s ambient spoken word experiments. Like the butterfly with which it shares its name, Chalk Hill Blue is a rare thing: a glorious electric pastoral shimmer.

- Adapted from a beautiful bio written by Rob St John, November 2018.

Pip Blom announce new album Boat

At the tail end of last year, Heavenly announced the exciting news that Pip Blom had just joined the family. Today they have announced that the album Boat will be released on Friday 31st May… just a week after they join us at Sea Change 2019!

The band have also just released the single Daddy Issues. Recorded with Dave McCracken at Big Jelly studios in Margate with the album then mixed by Dillip Harris in a shipping container on the banks of the Thames in East London. Its result is ten songs that, alluding to the album’s title, ferry you through Pip’s headspace via expertly crafted songs gelled together through their unassuming depth.

Signing to Heavenly was another item crossed off Pip’s to-do list, fulfilment of one of the things she dreamed of since first picking up a guitar and the culmination of a storming 2018 that propelled Pip Blom as one of the year’s most exciting rising guitar bands.

Preorder Boat now at Drift.

 
Pip Blom
 

The Comet is Coming - Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery

There are going to be some massive shifts in our own lifetime as life begins to transcend biology… so let’s at least find some essential truths and inner peace so we can make wise decisions.
— Betamax

No sooner had we announced that the Jazz life-force The Comet Is Coming are joining us this year as our Saturday night headliner, the three-piece have announced a new album this Spring on the iconic Impulse! imprint.

Featuring saxophonist King Shabaka (Shabaka Hutchings) keys and synth player Danalogue (Dan Leavers) and drummer Betamax (Max Hallett), the record “aims to answer universal questions with universal truths” shares the label. A 21st century take on spiritual jazz that is part Alice Coltrane, part Bladerunner is the band’s follow up to their Mercury nominated 2015 debut. The album arrives with lead single Summon The Fire, a heads-down electronic groove. (stream)

“King Shabaka's saxophone lines veer from lethal melody through to all out noise, while the tumbling arrangement is hewn from its own solitary realm.” - Clash

Preorder Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery on CD and Vinyl now at Drift.

Sea Change IV: Metronomy, The Comet is Coming, Gazelle Twin, Stewart Lee and Michael Cumming, Will Burns and Hannah Peel, TVAM, Pip Blom, You Tell Me, The Nightingales…

We are thrilled to make our first artist announcement for 2019. Joining us May 24 - 26 will be; Metronomy, The Comet is Coming, Gazelle Twin, Stewart Lee and Michael Cumming, Will Burns and Hannah Peel, TVAM, Pip Blom, You Tell Me and The Nightingales… all of this plus a soggy old cloth cat.


Friday night’s headliner will be one of the UK’s most critically and commercially successful acts, METRONOMY, returning to Devon for a huge homecoming show for Sea Change on the Dartington Hall Estate. The Mercury-nominated band is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of breakthrough LP, Nights Out (a new expanded edition of which is available via Because) and founder Joe Mount has most recently been busy at work producing Robyn’s Honey album. A long-time supporter of both Drift and Sea Change, Joe snuck into town to play a surprise DJ set at the inaugural. Sea Change weekend and it has long been one of the festival’s biggest ambitions to invite METRONOMY to headline.

Saturday night sees the cosmic psychedelic jazz of THE COMET IS COMING taking to the Sea Change stage. Following a 2018 Mercury nomination with the extraordinary Sons of Kemet, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings – alongside bandmates Betamax Killer and Danalogue The Conqueror – turns his attentions back to soundtracking the imagined apocalypse with a fusion of jazz, Afrobeat and electronica.

Sea Change is thrilled to join with Fire Records/Fire Films to offer the first look at KING ROCKER, a film investigating the mysterious existence of the front man and lyricist of The Nightingales, Robert Lloyd. Comedian and writer STEWART LEE and director MICHAEL CUMMING (Brass Eye, Toast) bring an exclusive first preview of the documentary to Sea Change, with a full panel talk and pounding live show from THE NIGHTINGALES, Britain’s ultimate post-punk survivors. Robert Lloyd’s The Prefects played with The Clash on the White Riot tour in 1977 and The Nightingales recorded more John Peel sessions than any other band.

Essential music and culture website, THE QUIETUS, returns as a key creative partner to proudly present a late-night set from GAZELLE TWIN. Latest LP, Pastoral, was The Quietus’s 2018 album of the year (with the hypnotic and terrifying ‘Hobby Horse’ also ranking high in the 50 tracks of the year) and it noted, “On her latest extraordinary album, Elizabeth Bernholz serves the full English with extra discomfort, grotesquery and barely contained horror.” The is just the start of The Quietus’s plans, which will, of course, include DJ’ing another set of full-on bangers.

Another 2018 project born from obsession and joyous admiration was Earth Recordings’s BAGPUSS soundtrack reissue, declared by Drift as soundtrack release of the year. At last year’s festival, the soundtrack specialists handed Drift a mysterious test pressing and now, less than a year on, Bagpuss will be holding court at Sea Change 2019. Series creators, aficionados and fans will explore the adored ’70s animated classic and, as part of an exclusive, fully-immersive experience, musicians SANDRA KERR and JOHN FAULKNER – whose beautiful pastoral folk music helped to make the series so special – will perform the beautiful songs live.

Elsewhere, artist, producer and award-winning composer HANNAH PEEL collaborates with poet WILL BURNS to perform in the beautiful 15th-century St Mary’s Church venue. And another celebrated collaboration see’s Field Music’s PETER BREWIS and Admiral Fallow’s SARAH HAYES becoming YOU TELL ME, whose debut album was released this month to much critical praise.

The deft curation of Drift will see two of its favourite bands joining the line-up. Dutch 4-piece PIP BLOM made many new fans on a triumphant supporting slot for The Breeders last year, while big and beaty TVAM released debut LP Psychic Data to great acclaim towards the end of last year.

With more to be announced in February, you can buy day and weekend tickets online now.

Earlybirds have flown, tickets doing brisk business, hopes are high.

Welcome to 2019, we trust you all had a good break and are all cautiously dreaming of those longer nights on the other side of the Spring.

The 2019 earlybird tickets sold out in fine fashion, thanks so much for the support. Weekend and Day tickets are online now, also Young Person tickets (all new for 2019) and the Deposit ticket scheme is also live.

We have been working hard through the end of 2018 and we’re delighted to be able to announce our first wave of 2019 artists a little later this month. Keep an eye on all the Sea Change socials.