off bloom: Endless Energy, Bold Electronic Sounds and a Middle-Finger to the Music Industry

Credit: Nicole Nodland

It’s surprising that the bar of an upmarket Quayside hotel can contain the super-charged ball of energy that are off bloom.

Lead-singer Mette and producers Mads and Alex lounge on armchairs behind curtains, giggling after one interview as they prepare to speak to The Courier. Mette immediately leaps up with a grin and clears a sofa, then fires off a round of questions about my life before I can even flick the voice recorder on. It’s exactly that endless energy which leaves Dua Lipa’s sold-out O2 Academy crowd stunned a few hours later.

The group enjoyed a rare break in Lipa’s hectic tour schedule the day before the Newcastle show. “We were so hungover”, Alex laments. Mette laughs and adds, “We went out in Glasgow with Dua and the whole team then yesterday we just licked our wounds”. Asked if they’re planning another wild night after the Geordie-gig Alex ponders, “What day is it? Friday… fuck”. Mette is quick to jump in again, “Guess we have to!”

Despite having sore-heads from a Scottish night out the trio did manage to nip to The Gate and catch Blade Runner II, whose “fucking strong vibes” Mads is keen to chat about. Alex mentions that he actually grew up in Newcastle: “I used to live in Jesmond – Jesmond Dene is so beautiful. I moved to Denmark when I was six but I went to see my old house and primary school this morning”. Mette sniggers and chirps up to take the piss out of a “26-year-old man” looking in windows, imitating Alex by peering round her hands.

off bloom in Newcastle

off bloom in Newcastle

If you haven’t heard off bloom’s music, then you need to get acquainted soon. Its quirky, electronic thuds make for an almost out-of-body experience and the group’s live performance is absolutely nuts. “The music has so much energy in it so it’s [the energy on stage] a natural thing that happens. You’re standing there in front of so many people so you obviously want to tell them something, who we are, that we appreciate that they’re here and what they are giving us,” Mette explains.

However, it’s far from an uncontrollable frenzy. off bloom played a good number of British festivals over the summer and, as an up-and-coming band, confessed to there being fewer fans than hoped at their set.

“We have done some festivals over the summer like, okay, there aren’t many people here but we give it 130% to make people come into the tent. They want to know what the fuck is happening, why is she running around like that?”

Credit: Nicole Nodland

Credit: Nicole Nodland

They’ve also held back on playing new tracks such as ‘Hey Bae’. “We rehearsed for it but only for one day. Everything we do we want to be 100% and we don’t want to go on stage and feel like this could sound better or be better”, Mads confesses.

It’s an exciting time for the trio. As the industry shifts to a more electronic-pop sound, spearheaded by the likes of fellow Scandinavian Alma, Charli XCX and Mura Masa, the stars look to be aligning for off bloom. However, they are quick to draw a line through any comparisons to these famous figures.

Mads starts, “I don’t feel like we have the same sound as those guys. I feel we have the same attitude towards the world and what we think music to be which is a good thing. Saying ‘fuck it’ to a lot of the industry’s conventionalities.”

An album format doesn’t really make sense… What’s the difference between spending six months or a year releasing new songs as singles and just doing them all at once – except people are actually going to listen to it!

This isn’t a commercial “fuck it” attitude either. There may be a strong middle-finger-up attitude towards the industry but throughout the 20-minute chat it’s clear just how down to earth the trio are as Alex passionately points out, “We’re serious about including people into a world where we can talk to and learn from each other. Why the fuck would we have Twitter if we didn’t try and answer our fans and talk to them.” This seems trivial but it will make all the difference for off bloom. It’s all too frequent in the music industry that artists have their social media accounts run from an office and interact with fans merely on a surface level. At the gig later that night I see fans in front receive replies from the band shortly after leaving stage as they passionately exchange messages about what went down.

When quizzed on whether to expect a debut album soon Alex and Mette are quick to fire back a resounding, “no”. Alex then elaborates, “We’re trying to figure out how the system works now. An album format doesn’t really make sense… What’s the difference between spending six months or a year releasing new songs as singles and just doing them all at once – except people are actually going to listen to it!”

Mads chips in, “It’s basically telling a story because that’s more true. We are always thinking about how we can do the artwork, the video, the art behind it. How we can support that, how can the next song then support the next thing.”

This lineage is clear to hear in the development in their singles. No one track is like another. An earlier track, such as 2016’s ‘Love To Hate It’, is a haven of electronic scales whilst ‘rockefe11a’ is closer to a ballad and latest single ‘Lover Like Me’ is more of a groovy effort. Even the development in aspects such as music videos and art is progressing at such a stratospheric rate that a huge breakthrough seems imminent.

There are so, so many artists labelled as “ones to watch”. But I can wholeheartedly promise you that there is no one who sounds like and no one who is like off bloom.

 

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