Toledo’s Bliss Nova are going places with full-length debut
Sometimes bands or artists come along that you feel like you should have known about sooner, and for me, Bliss Nova is one of such bands. Twice the Toledo-based duo has been featured on TUNED UP, and yet the Trzcinski brothers were never once on my own personal radar. That is, not until after I received a pitch email about them a little while back. Since then, I have been intrigued with the self-dubbed “synesthetic” blend of synth-pop found on their debut LP Going Places.
Much of Going Places lands somewhere between ethereal vibes and synth-laden grooves, often resulting in bouncy, dancy synth-pop. Some of the tracks, such as opener “On to Something” and lead single “Hafta,” possess such a strong groove that I would consider them low key bops – yes, that is a thing now. All throughout the album, it is the basslines that hold everything in place, from “On to Something,” to “Hafta,” to even the watery “Blind.” Meanwhile, tracks such as the echo-y “Turning Off the Headlights” and closer “Nowhere” represent the less groovy, more vibey end of the spectrum.
While there is a strong sense of
cohesiveness and consistency throughout Going
Places, some of its most captivating moments fall when the Ohio duo deviate
slightly from the album’s overall vibe. The most striking instance of this
comes on the interlude track “Lifetime,” which sounds slightly less ‘80s-inspired
in lieu of a more industrial ethos. Even “Hafta” feels slightly left-field for the
record with this part lo-fi, part disco atmosphere to it. In some ways, though,
I would argue that these change-ups are precisely what keep my interest.
Although centered on synth-pop and new wave, and heavily influenced by those quintessential sort of 1980s sounds, Going Places captures quite a few other different styles and sonic flavors as well. Brothers Daniel and Joel Trzcinski accomplish this in a way that is both seamless and effortless. Overall, the full-length debut from Bliss Nova feels simultaneously “fresh” and “vintage.” It may not be something you had expected from two boys in chilly northwest Ohio, but with Going Places, that is precisely what you get.