“… songs seem to reveal new pockets of intense emotion every time you listen”– NOISEY
“Their woozy ballads have a way of taking your mind to new places without feeling like it’s a total intrusion” – Nylon
Alpines’ third album Full Bloomis the high watermark of their career so far. It’s the consolidation of years of hard graft, as Bob Matthews and Catherine Pockson’s creative journey finds affirmation in staying true to their musical process.
Alpines’ story is one of unwavering determination; after their initial tenure on a major label ended, they persevered to self-release their debut album Oasis, which proved to be a testament to their musical strength and craft. If their enchanting indie follow-up Another River saw the pair finding a new path, new album Full Bloomis a creative blossoming.
While their core influences have always revolved around the music they grew up listening to, Full Bloomis confidently eclectic in its frame of reference and comes across as their most sure-footed work yet. Prince, Aaliyah, Frank Ocean, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Kelela, ‘90s rave culture and Massive Attack are just some of the muses channelled in this new work. Pockson’s primary lyrical concerns are growth, ecology, and change (as the title suggests), alongside the everyday challenges of love, acceptance and hardship, making for a record that’s braver than its predecessors. Full Bloomis a long and difficult look at the world around us as well as a deep examination of our complex inner lives, and the accompanying insecurities and vulnerabilities.
Each song is built around a minimal piano idea, expanded on in the serenity of their Kingston-Upon-Thames studio: “There are tracks that lean more towards Catherine’s love of classic singer-songwriters and soul music, and others that are inspired by left-field producers and rap,” says Matthews. Add to the mix a wide variety of non-musical influences – Netflix drama The OA, architect Rachel Whiteread, contemporary fashion and art, – and it’s easy to see why Full Bloom overflows with innovation.
Alpines announce their return with their first single ‘Out Of View’. The track is a bassy saw wave before a breakbeat style rhythm that descends quickly, accompanied by Pockson’s deeply felt vocal.
“Out of View was written in a period of time when we were both feeling very free and wanted to experiment with new sounds and ideas with no pressure or expectation. The weight and grittiness of the beat contrasts to the soaring and anthemic vocal. We wanted this track to have that striking uplifting quality, we were inspired by classic 90s rave anthems and the power of those vocals and lyrics to lift people and transcend them to another place.”
Having carved a cult following in alternative pop, Alpines’ journey has also seen collaborations with Sub Focus and Lana Del Rey (whose ‘Blue Jeans’ they were invited to remix) and shows with The xx, Florence + The Machine, Emeli Sandé and more.
Full Bloom: lush, dynamic and uninhibited is the sound of Alpines hitting their stride.