Although sounding like a singular, Pip Blom are actually a band from Amsterdam, although slightly confusingly, they’re led by the aforementioned Pip Blom (singular again). Through an EP, Paycheck, and slowly becoming 6Music darlings, they’ve created interest and attention that has led to this debut album, Boat, out today (31st May) on ever brilliant Heavenly Recordings.
What she and the band have made in Boat is a clever, original an hugely enjoyable album. Yes, there is nothing really new to be garnered musically from their standard indie formation, it’s just the way they’ve done it. Romantically, I like to think of Pip and band mate brother/guitarist Tender’s father Erwin, once of Peel favourites Eton Crop, as some kind of Pep Guardiola, encouraging and cajoling his charges – essentially his children plus Darek Mercks (Bass) and drummer Gini Cameron on to great things. It’s almost certainly rubbish but with or without him, Pip Blom have – much like Manchester City, kept the formation fairly standard, but made something beautiful and exciting and unmissable within that.
From the first moments of opener Daddy issues, it’s clear. Anyone can write a three minute song, but not everyone can make them seem so vital and immediate, or as downright catchy. There’s plenty of indie-isms in there as well, with this buzzing guitar sound and the taught, rhythmic playing of the band, but the chorus just exudes confidence and joyful abandon, and with the whole girl/boy vocal thing that goes on, at times, throughout the album, it’s cutesy and at the same time, faintly melancholy.
That they prove it again, with the fabulous Say It, and again in the beautiful and pulsating Ruby, with its heart-melting chorus shows they can write big tunes, but they back it up with moments of repose (closer Aha begins with this beautiful slow moment, before breaking apart into this shoegazey wig out) and quirkiness – Set of Stairs almost has you following yourself up them with its unexpected changes and swerves, but there’s something to admire and fall for in pretty much all of the ten tracks.
There’s probably slightly weak football analogies I could throw myelf into about winning, scoring, clearing up domestically (well, maybe not that one), but Pip Blom aren’t Manchester City, they are just a pop band who have created something lovely, and uplifting and memorable. I reckon that’s enough.