Album Review: Carpool Tunnel – Bloom; a bubbling slice of Californian indie

Carpool Tunnel are musically fluorescing with the release of their debut album Bloom.

After only releasing singles since 2017, Carpool Tunnel are kicking their discography off to an encouraging start with this 60’s inspired, simplistic sounding album that will transport you from a dreary day to the Californian coast. Bloom offers an escape from the current climate and creates an excitement for the go-ahead of festivals.

The 11-track album is an effortless listen from start to finish. Each track is a heartwarming combination of tender yet uplifting lyrics and full-bodied melodies, it is a true embodiment of what the band wanted to achieve. When speaking about the album, singer and guitarist Ben Koppenjan explained “The message we came up with was,‘Like a flower, you too shall bloom.’We were all blooming into ourselves and finding our sound at the same time.”

The quartet became Carpool Tunnel in 2017 when the synchronisation theory came into play and they met on what is ‘hailed as tinder for musicians’, Vampr. They have been developing their sound since. Bloom represents a natural progression from their first single Shining. Originally sounding like an A-typical indie band, their newest tracks possess a retro and authentic quality. The simplicity of Bloom shows that the band have found their image and where they belong in the music world.

All the tracks on Bloom are a serene listen, each track has a purpose and further adds to the aura of the album. There is a juxtaposition between the lyrics and the composition. I’ll be your friend is a classic example of the lyrics being endearing, having a love-song like quality but the melody contrasts as it is made up of upbeat guitar riffs and steady percussion. Carpool tunnel are maintaining a safe distance between pop-style ballads and classic indie songs and have evidently found their perfect balance when creating this album.

Flora, the official single of the album and is the epitome of Carpool tunnels sound, optimistic and eccentric. When asked about the single, they explained poetically, “The soil of 2020 was dense, and some of us still feel like we’re underground. However, sometimes we need the darkness to reach the light, ‘Flora’ is here to remind you that no matter how grim life may seem, there will always be sparks of light, love, and hope as long as we are open to them…then it is up to us to decide how large that spark grows.”

Although most of the album is full of tranquility, Forget me now and Better now are exceptions to this. They convey a hostile and satirical tone. It is a taste of the variety Bloom offers as an album.

Bloom is a lucid compilation of tracks that’s overarching message is ‘Like a flower you too shall bloom’ and this applies greatly to Carpool tunnel. With this album they have officially blossomed.

Bloom is out February 26th via Pure Noise Records. 

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