Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Album Review - Bloom

by RÜFÜS (out January 22, 2016)

Australian music's first major release of 2016 belongs to Sydney's RÜFÜS and their sophomore album Bloom. It's a pretty excellent start to the year to say the least. With the singles we've already heard from their second effort, there was little doubt the follow up to Atlas was going to win the trio the hearts of many a dance fan all over again. Bloom proves a fitting title, as RÜFÜS grow or evolve or whatever word you find fitting to explain that they've pushed themselves to create an album that's an experience unlike your standard electronic/dance fare. In the same way that Tame Impala are redefining rock and the psychedelic, RÜFÜS (Tyrone Lindqvist, Jon George and James Hunt) find themselves doing the same for dance music on Bloom. It's not a chillout track here and party starting anthem there. It's a largely undefinable collection of songs that flow gorgeously between themselves, making repeat listens a necessity to fully explore every hidden beat and sound. Yeah, not a bad start to the year at all, right? 

"You said you don't love me like that, I'm stuck here standing in the rain, you said I don't need you like that, but I do, but I do." From the first lines of opening track 'Brighter', Lindqvist is sounding more soulful than ever on a track that you think will be a bit of a downer... until that chorus rolls around and you're clapping your hands and singing along as if you've known the track your whole life. Or that could just be me, but it will probably be you too. 95% chance it will be you too. The other 5% have never felt the warmth of the sun shining on their face and live permanently in the darkness. Many of the song titles are tied together by a sun or light theme; 'Brighter', 'Daylight', 'Until The Sun Needs To Rise' and then there's the epic closing track 'Innerbloom' and for things to bloom they need light and photosynthesis or something related to that (did not do well in science) so we'll throw that in there too. It works, because all of the tracks give off a certain sense of warmth and a drive to be something more. Particularly 'Innerbloom', which is just ridiculously good and worthy of that 'epic' word being thrown around. From small beginnings, the song grows in a way that feels organic... building and building upon itself. The songwriting is top notch too, right up to the final lines of the album, "if you want me, if you need me, I'm yours." 

There's a couple of nice surprises RÜFÜS have thrown in, none more pleasant than the duet on 'Hypnotised'. Some internet sleuthing tells me the lovely female vocalist on the track is Jon George's partner Dena, with some non-creepy Instagram stalking telling me her name is Dena Kaplan. Her vocals fit perfectly with Lindqvist's. If she was to do a Fergie/Black Eyed Peas inception thing and team up with RÜFÜS on a more permanent basis, none would be opposed. 'Hypnotised' is an album highlight, maybe even the album highlight, that wins on every level. The voices, the lyrics, the beats... the single potential is high in this one. Maybe? That honour could also be awarded to 'Until The Sun Needs To Rise', which is more than ready for radio in its own right. With Bloom, RÜFÜS exceed the high expectations they found themselves put under with the critical and commercial success of their debut. We'll hopefully be hearing a bunch of the tracks over the next twelve months on radio and you... well you should pick up a copy or digital download and give yourself a listen. You won't regret it. 
Matt Bond gives Bloom four roses (that have bloomed, get it?) out of five...


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