The sights and sounds of New York’s metropolitan landscape take on a dark and foreboding light in the most recent work by the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter.
The wash of mellotron strings and a compelling beat usher in the beginnings of “Bleary,” opening a dollhouse view of the often abject experiences of the city as experienced through Bloom’s discerning sonic expression. The song unfolds not unlike fellow purveyor of chamber pop aesthetics Father John Misty’s “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” its chords progressing and resolving with a climax of increasingly urgent energy. The song also brings to mind the Band’s early hit “The Weight” in that the portraits of the city around Bloom and the people he encounters are largely tragic in nature, emblems of the futility of good intention in scope of life’s challenges. Where Levon Helm expressed these vignettes with romantic empathy, Bloom’s vocals invite in an edge of abject anxiety and isolation born from the environment around him.
The production work exhibited here is clean and precise, offering a beautiful sonic contrast to the grit of the lyrical details. “Bleary” brings to mind works of the aforementioned Misty, as well as Radiohead and Mercury Rev, and holds an addictive melody that tends to stick around in the mind for some time after each listen.
“Bleary” is out now and streaming everywhere, just in time for Halloween.~
Review by Bobby Guard