Towards the beginning of the last decade, with indie conclusively out to pasture, a handful of male groups that might once have made mileage out of beefing in the NME cannily started acting more like boybands. The 1975, Cabbage and Blossoms embraced their female fanbases, not to mention the role of the floppy-haired pin-up, and stopped slagging off pop. Blossoms, a five-piece from Stockport, go the whole hog on album three, a “celebration of love” so puppy-eyed it evokes the Osmonds. While they’ve boldly cited Stop Making Sense, The Joshua Tree and Screamadelica as influences, on Foolish Loving Spaces, they sound more like exuberantly uncool prepunk pop: Abba, Slade, the Bay City Rollers. It’s not dissimilar to the recent Harry Styles album, had Styles let down his guard.
The uncool comparisons are no slight against Blossoms: Foolish Loving Spaces is delightful, full of tight gems such as The Keeper, which layers stomping piano, gospel backing vocals and a final touch of fizzing guitar, and If You Think This Is Real Life, which channels Graceland’s festive earnestness. It’s often expansive: frontman Tom Ogden evinces wry McCartney charm on Your Girlfriend, and My Swimming Brain pulls off velvety disco glamour, as if Tame Impala cleared away the stoner haze and wrote some actual choruses. Ogden’s declarations of love become a little breathless by the end (“I’ve never been so sure about it – can you tell?”), and Romance, Eh? leans too far into drippy, good-boy 70s music, but the band’s marvellously uncool overhaul is endearing and well turned.