Pip Blom follow up 2019’s ‘Boat’ with new album ‘Welcome Break’ – named after the UK’s service station favourite. Self-produced, mixed by Caesar Edmunds (PJ Harvey, St Vincent, Queens of the Stone Age) and recorded at Ramsgate’s Big Jelly Studios, it’s an album that finds Pip and her band mates speaking out about feelings, important issues and injustice in a melodic manner: ‘I just really like catchy songs and I feel like that’s something we do well. It’s not sugar-coated-happy Pop…they’re more like ‘Titanic’ pop songs…’
Opening with BBC 6 Music favourite ‘You Don’t Want This’, a song packed with catchy hooks, killer melodies and a gang-chanted chorus that instantly leaves an impression, the album continues in this power pop vein on ’12’, although this track – very much about not being in love with someone – also has an element of defiance cutting through: ‘It must be weird that I am not that into you’; ‘I don’t give into you’. ‘It Should Have Been Fun’ is more melancholic, both in the tone of the guitar and Pip’s vocals: ‘It shouldn’t go like this, this isn’t what we want’. We hear elements of latter-day Los Camp as Pip admits the failings of both parties when a bond comes to an end: ‘It’s not the end of the world’.
‘Keep It Together’ was also one of the the lead singles and finds the band dipping into a harmonious jangle pop space, complete with boisterous chorus, as they talk about feeling tired and finding the tonic for some extra energy. ‘Different Tune’ and ‘I Know I’m Not Easy to Like’ have very contrasting sounds, the former slow, deliberate and dark (‘Take your mind off all those thoughts that around’) and the latter a grungey, riff-heavy piece where they demand the subject makes a decision on what they want to do next.
‘Faces’ is also full of soul-searching, with Pip delivering a spoken-word stream of consciousness over country-tinged guitar hooks – ‘I still love you, not this version of me’ – before ‘I Love the City’ settles into a more soulful, groove-laden area. ‘Easy’ again finds Pip assertively putting her feelings to the fore – ‘Write down all the reasons that you love me, not as fun as I was at the start’; ‘Everything that we had sounds unappealing, everything you had is on the line’ – while the penultimate ‘Holiday’ has a waltzy, woozy feel with big blasts of noise backing up statements including ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘I won’t be sorry and you want apologies’. ‘Trouble in Paradise’ closes the album in beautifully breezy style with a desire to get things right summed up by the mantra: ‘Time to take it easy, time to be myself’.
‘Welcome Break’ takes you on one hell of a personal journey. Enjoy your stay.