Cincinnati-based dynamic pop duo Blossom Hall are set to release their debut LP, Pyre, soon. But this news is bittersweet as it precedes the band’s forthcoming hiatus. Naturally, it’s a challenging time for artists of all sorts and life changes quickly. Priorities shuffle. Such is life.
Nonetheless, we’re excited to premier the band’s second single, “Peace To Everything That I Have Hurt And That Has Hurt Me,” which you can find below.
We had a chance to connect with Blossom Hall about their forthcoming album and plans beyond the hiatus.
You’re set to release your (as of now) final album over a year into the pandemic. How does it feel to release music without the potential to play shows? Were changes due to the pandemic part of the reason for the forthcoming hiatus?
Phil: It’s bittersweet. We wish we could share this music live, but ultimately we are just excited to share the fruits of our labor over the past few years! The pandemic is a huge factor in the hiatus.
Your new single “Peace To Everything That I Have Hurt And That Has Hurt Me” is reverb-heavy and summery, perhaps even a bit of a lounge vibe. But the lyrics seem to have a bit of an ache to them—a sense of unrequited love and the complexity of relationships. I’m curious where some of these ideas came from—whether musically or lyrically.
Nancy: The song is based on my own true experience. It’s my physical and emotional experience of having a crush on a married person I met at a support group. People are messy, and I’m no different. The mantra at the end of the song is just what I needed for myself in that moment. And in many moments since.
How has the internet impacted the visibility of the band? In what ways are word of mouth and traditional means of promotion still critical? How important are branding and marketing for you as musicians?
Phil: The internet has spread the visibility of the band enormously. We have listeners in other countries like Russia and Canada, places where we’ve never visited in the flesh. I think word of mouth is always the most valuable, and it comes from just having great recordings and a decent aesthetic. Traditional promo is very critical. But we don’t really have the energy for it to be honest. Branding and marketing are important, but I think we would both prefer to let someone else lead those creative decisions.
Your new album understandably might have less reach or impact than some of your previous endeavors, due to the hiatus and the pandemic. What compelled you to release another album rather than just put out a statement like many other bands have done? What do you hope fans take away from the album?
Phil: I don’t think that’s true, respectfully. People weren’t discovering most of their new music through shows, in my opinion. We are happy to share our work with whoever will listen. Thank you for helping to spread it right now. The album is about moving on from places and relationships of different kinds. Lyrically, there are many messages that fans could take away, but I don’t want to spoil it by pigeonholing how they should interpret it.
Nancy: I just hope that people listen. We put five years into this album. So five years of processing love, grief, joy. I would love if someone listened and felt some stress relief. Or thought “Oh I have to show this to my friend, they would love this.” I would love if someone copied some of these songs onto real cassette mix tapes.
As you close this chapter in your lives, are there any creative plans moving forward? What other local artists would you tell your fans to keep an eye on in your absence?
Phil: I have a lot of other musical projects, which is another factor in the hiatus. I have a hip-hop group with live musicians called the Golden Theory. We started out as a 100% improv live band, but currently we are working on a hip-hop musical. Thankfully, I’m not the rapper in the group. I also have a funk & soul band called Party Blimp. And I have a solo folk project that I’m trying to figure out the right spin for. Sorry that’s a lot. As far as other Cincinnati groups to look out for: Aprina’s Revolutionary Love, Brianna Kelly, FLOCKS, Brooklynn Rae, Elsa Kennedy, MADQUEEN, Maria Levitov, smut, Sweet Pablo, Bershy. There are many more. Most Cincinnati bands kick ass.
Nancy: I’m starting to play with some women musicians, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to drop names just yet. I second all of Phil’s suggestions. But I went full time at my day job, so I’m mostly focused there these days.
How do you stay motivated creatively? Making art of any kind is often pretty thankless, and even convincing ourselves to create can feel like an uphill battle. What sort of goal management process do you use to keep yourselves moving forward?
Phil: It sure is. There have been many difficult moments trudging through the creative process, though in my experience most of the hard times come after the song is written. I don’t really have a goal management process, just anxiety that I haven’t worked hard enough. So I just try to be productive to some extent every day. I am privileged to be a freelance musician, so my schedule allows me plenty of time to work on any given project.
What do you wish you knew when you first started out that you know now?
Nancy: I try not to think in those terms. Life just happens. We do the best we can with the information available.
Phil: I don’t know if I’d change anything. The album rules.
Favorite pizza chain?
Nancy: Loving Hut
Thanks so much for taking some time to talk and we look forward to the full album release!