To many, the success of Blossoms’ chart-topping third album Foolish Loving Spaces proved that floppy-haired indie music still has its place. Alex Green speaks with the Stockport band’s frontman Tom Ogden about touring with their idols and staying true to their roots.
Rest is not a word that appears in Tom Ogden’s vocabulary. His band Blossoms have just released Foolish Loving Spaces, the band’s third album and second number one, and embarked on a packed tour of the UK and Europe — they played at The Limelight in Belfast on March 3.
Despite this, Ogden has already finished the lion’s share of the band’s fourth album.
The stylish and shaggy-haired Stockport quintet — Ogden, Charlie Salt, Josh Dewhurst, Joe Donovan and Myles Kellock — are nothing if not hard-working.
This has been reflected in Mercury Prize and Brit Award nominations and a homecoming show at Edgeley Park Stadium that sold out in under an hour.
Ogden picks up the phone as the Blossoms’ bus sets off for Cork — one of the first stops on their tour promoting Foolish Loving Spaces.
The softly-spoken 26-year-old admits that he finds it hard to revel in their successes — or plan for the future.
“It’s always a nice little cherry on the top when something you have created is well received,” he says humbly. “It feels great that it got to number one. It reiterates the fact you’re doing something right. But you’re thinking about next week, really. You’re not (even) thinking about the future.”
Ogden explains that their latest album was inspired by Talking Heads, U2’s The Joshua Tree album and “the gospel side of Primal Scream”. But Blossoms, formed in 2013, are also part of a new breed of guitar-band who are unafraid of their pop sensibilities.
Where predecessors like The Strokes and The Libertines fought back, Blossoms embrace the enticing sounds of George Michael, Abba and Duran Duran.
They unashamedly call themselves “big fans” of Post Malone and even covered the rapper’s hit Better Now in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
Baggy-trousered tracks such as Your Girlfriend and foot-stomping single The Keeper combine nostalgia with modern pop.
Ogden was in a happy place when he started out writing the album over the Christmas of 2018.
He had recently moved in with his girlfriend — the so-called “Keeper” — and begun renovating their house.
Because the building was in a state of disrepair, he would return to his parents’ house, working in the same room he penned the band’s first two albums in.
“Up to that point, I’d never written anywhere else apart from my mum and dad’s back room,” he says with a sharp laugh.
When the work was done, he bought an upright piano and wrote nearly 30 songs — so many the band considered releasing three mini-albums.
Long-term collaborator James Skelly, from The Coral, suggested they “do something different” and visit Nashville in Tennessee to record the album.
But the band decided to “keep the vibe going” and return to their spiritual home of Parr Street Studios in Liverpool.
This positivity bubbled through into the album’s heady love songs, earning the record rave reviews and propelling it to the top of the charts.
“Obviously, everyone has their personal stuff, and day-to-day no one’s happy,” he explains.
“But on the whole, it feels like we’re a new band and it feels great. This is
the most excited we have ever been, going into this tour, definitely.
“Right now, it feels like we’re in the best condition of our lives.”
Blossoms embark on their first stadium tour this spring, before supporting The Killers on their Imploding The Mirage tour.
Ogden does not attempt to play it cool.
“This is mad,” he exclaims.
“We were dancing to their songs in nightclubs when we were teenagers.
“And then obviously, listening to the songs and them influencing you as a band, to then sharing a stage with them — they’re dreams come true.
“We have toured with some of our heroes before and The Killers are definitely up there. It’s an honour, really.”
Ogden reels off the acts Blossoms have shared a stage with: Paul Weller, Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and both Gallagher brothers.
“We have done all our heroes,” he says before tossing in for good measure: “Ah, the Stone Roses.”
Their newly expanded sound has also meant expanding the band’s line-up to incorporate percussionists and gospel singers.
“In the past, some of the percussion has been on a backing track,” Ogden divulges.
“But because percussion is so heavily featured on this album, we didn’t feel like we could cheat it this time round.
“We wanted to be true to the record and step it up live, which is why we did it.
“It breathes a new life into the band. It just feels fresh. I think that’s the best way to describe it.”
“Not that we were bored with just us five, but when you’ve done a lot of shows together and have travelled around, new leases of life are a positive thing.”
Despite Foolish Loving Spaces only being released in late January, Ogden has already written most of their “darker” fourth album.
“We have put real strings on one of them as well,” he says excitedly. “The one we have just done, it’s a bit moodier.”
From the sounds of it, Blossoms’ purple patch is set to continue.
Find out more about Blossoms at blossomsband.co.uk