Atlanta’s varied music scene is no secret; in just a few short months, Playing Atlanta has featured garage rock, indie rock duos, Americana singer-songwriters, and disciples of Southern Rock, but even that doesn’t begin to cover the true mosaic of the city.
Audiofemme got the chance to talk with True Blossom, a bright, joyous pop experience, who have just released their newest album, Heater. Read on for more about the quintet, their passion for pop, and big plans for their next release.
AF: What is the True Blossom story? How did the band form?
TB: We knew each other from playing shows together in other bands for years in the Atlanta pop scene, and we wanted to form a new band. We don’t have much of a narrative, only our songs. Like Paula Abdul. We’re the Paula Abdul of Atlanta indie pop.
AF: What drives you to create music, together and individually?
TB: Pure, unbridled ambition. Like that fucking uncut, barrel-strength, Napoleon-whining-about-Alexander-the-Great ambition.
AF: Which bands or artists inspire you the most?
TB: We mostly draw on pop formalists in one way or another, but the specific artists vary. Sophie listens to a lot of pop country and Motown; Jamison likes what you might call psychedelic pop, like Beach Boys, Robert Wyatt, Tropicalia, etc; Nadav likes a lot of that sort of hybrid disco/funk from the ’80s, like the Jones Girls. The sophisti-pop bands are also a big influence: Orange Juice, Prefab Sprout, the Blue Nile, etc.
AF: You recently released a record, Heater. What was it like to release your debut album? What was your proudest moment, and what was the most challenging for you?
TB: We loved making the album! It was easier than we expected. A blessed process. I think the best moment was when we all traveled up to New York together to mix it; we ran ahead of schedule, and finished early somehow, which in retrospect seems impossible.
AF: What’s your creative process like?
TB: We just play songs over and over again until they write themselves. We’re a fairly prolific band, which is amazing because we’re not exactly a well-oiled machine of creative praxis. I think it helps that we limit our palette of sounds, but like, literally, every guitar rock band does that too, so I don’t know.
AF: What’s your favorite part of being in the Atlanta music scene?
TB: When we travel the rest of the country, we notice that the shows often happen in really crummy DIY venues. Atlanta is very blessed by the quality and stability of the venues and promoters. 529 is at least ten years old at this point and remains a great place to play and watch bands. And if it ever closed, we’d probably just utilize the Unicorn more. I think knowing that your band is usually going to be playing on real sound systems allows folks to get more ambitious with the sounds their bands make, and that goes a long way in explaining Atlanta indie pop right now. The trade-off, of course, is that DIY, all-ages venues get choked off a little, which is crummy. My other favorite part of the Atlanta music scene is that you can now get Campari at 529, which is not a thing you used to be able to do. But they don’t have sweet vermouth, which is bizarre. How are they planning on selling all that Campari?
AF: How has the Atlanta scene influenced you as a band?
TB: Talking about the Atlanta music scene is sort of ridiculous because there’s a rap scene obviously, and a hardcore scene, a bunch of old garage punks, Georgia Tech kids making proggy-jazz, squares with acoustic guitars… there are a lot of scenes that don’t overlap. And there’s not really a reason for them to; those garage punks probably will not like our band and are under no obligation to do so. But our little corner of the world is wonderful. Lots of kids getting ambitious with real pop melody, keeping the DX7 patches very bright, a lot of joy to go around. We’re inspired by Fantasy Guys, Red Sea, Breathers, Doug Bleichner’s solo stuff, and that’s just a very short sampling.
AF: What’s next for True Blossom?
TB: We’re tracking our next album in less than a month, so big things popping there. We’re also working on a video and planning a tour for the spring.
Follow True Blossom on Facebook as they prepare for a new release, announce spring tour dates, and take over the pop world, one song at a time.