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From the creative confines of Copenagen’s pop scene come Off Bloom, an exuberant trio with ideas and musicality aplenty. Everything they do is with a purpose, as they pen sassy love songs speaking to the complexities of relationships in the present day and, over bold, ear catching production, their messages are made all the more euphoric. Members Alex Flockhart and Mads Christensen got the ball rolling at the age of 16, when they played in the same band, forming a bond over a common love of Glaswegian electro and the 1970s German krautrock scene, before vocalist Mette Mortensen completed a puzzle that is steadily gaining worldwide recognition.
As their name suggests, the trio are not out to follow current models for what is popular, and instead doing what feels right in and of themselves; whether that is musical nods to the bubblegum pop of the 90s and the synthwave strides taken by Hudson Mohawke, all of which they extract to make their music. This is plain to see in 2017’s Lover Like Me EP and, by working and playing hard, their creative space has become wholly unique and, most importantly, theirs.
Making a stop in their busy schedule to perform at this year’s Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, Holland, we sat down with them as they laid their personalities, and their philosophy, bare.
What are the origins of Off Bloom?
Alex: Mads and I met when we played in a band when we were 16 and went through a bunch of different constellations, then decided we wanted to do this for real. At that point we were writing and producing for other people and we met Mette who is an actress, and we invited her to write a couple songs. She had a fucking amazing voice, so we got her involved and kept writing until we became a band with something to say and a sound people wanted to hear.
Was your sound a discovery very early on?
Mads: Yeah, we were super into a lot of German krautrock and the structure of the music at the beginning, and Glasgow new wave, so we thought it would sound cool if we put those two together that we thought sounded fresh. We had made so much experimental stuff before becoming Off Bloom, and we like finding things that are new and interesting.
You guys haven’t been Off Bloom for an extremely long time but, so far, what have you learned about yourselves as musicians?
Alex: We’re always trying to discover new things about ourselves, and avenues of music we can explore. Especially now, I feel we’re in a really creative space.
Mads: I feel we’ve really found our roots with the music that’s come out, it’s the best we’ve ever made.
Alex: The music is always changing, but with the same core.
Mads: And we listen to so much that it then spills out onto the creative process.
Mette: I think we’ve grown as songwriters a lot. We’ve now gained that ability to take a step back, deconstruct lyrics and look at them from a different angle.
Mads: Also in the music, like taking a bassline and thinking about how to make it messier or putting real feeling into a chord rather than it being just a craft.
Seeing as the Danish scene is so vast, do you take inspiration from some of your peers?
Mads: Yeah, and a lot of us make music together. School of X, Vera and others are our friends and it’s great for all of us to be able to make cool and interesting music but in different ways. We just want to have fun with each other and build a core of music that splinters away from each other. Without them, I don’t think we would even be a band right now.
Is the Danish music scene in a good place?
Mads: Amongst our friends, yes! Danish hip-hop isn’t so good.
Alex: Rappers all sound the same, and its not very ambitious, but there is a core of good bands with good taste pushing what you can do with music.
"I think we’ve grown as songwriters a lot. We’ve now gained that ability to take a step back, deconstruct lyrics and look at them from a different angle." – Mette
Do you ever think about what you want people to take away from your music?
Alex: We don’t really think about it. It’s all about how important your vibe is when it comes to making songs. We go into a studio with that feeling of not being scared or not thinking too much about what the outside world is thinking. It never works when you want something to sound a certain way or like someone else – you have to do your own thing.
Mads: Plus, you’ll never be creative. If you listen to a lot of music from the 80s and try to recreate the chords, drums or whatever, it’ll sound fucking dull, but then if you start playing around with it, that’s where the creativity begins.
What was the creative process behind the Lover Like Me EP?
Alex: The same as its always been, we just write songs every day, a lot of them are shitty, and some are really good ones [laughs]. That EP came together over the course of half a year and the songs were about the experiences we had and how we were feeling, and its ended up being quite a good representation of our lives.
Mads: One of the most unique experiences we had was working with Hudson Mohawke; having him on ‘Rockfe11a’ was enormous for all of us – he produced it in the studio and it was super fun to work with such a star.
Musically, are you thinking about what aspects you want to bring in a bit more?
Alex: We’re in a completely new place now where we’re going back more to our roots in terms of our childhood, and what we were listening to, what the vibe was.
Mads: Going back and listening to all the cheesy songs you did when you were young, you realise that they are amazing songs and that is such a great feeling to go back to those 90s songs, even the ones we don’t want to admit are great. In terms of sound, we want to go back to playing more guitar, because that’s what we did in the old days.
Mette: It will still sound like us, but definitely in a new direction, with an exciting feel to it, and its important for us to be able to do it that way.
Mads: The exact same energy but with different packaging.
"Going back and listening to all the cheesy songs you did when you were young, you realise that they are amazing songs and that is such a great feeling to go back to those 90s songs, even the ones we don’t want to admit are great." – Mads
Is that something you want to keep doing throughout your career?
Mads: Hopefully, otherwise it would be fucking boring if we did the same things all the time. Its amazing to constantly be inspired.
Mette: And not being tied down to any genre, but taking from whatever feels good, that could be from techno to rock to reggae. It makes more sense that way.
Alex: It’s really liberating that we could do all sorts of things; we could do an instrumental EP with nothing but zoo sounds and release it somewhere, and then do another thing or collab.
Mads: We’ll be showing more of our influences through the music definitely.
Alex: Honestly, we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, we’re just making music and having fun and we want to show that. We want to be as close to people who want to listen to our music as possible.
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