A firm favorite here at The Last Mixed Tape, Blooms (a.k.a Louise Cunnane) captured the imagination of many with her debut E.P If last year and will be coming to Dublin this month to headline a show at the Twisted Pepper on April 25th. Cunnane recently spoke to TLMT about her first record, songwriting inspirations and forthcoming new material.
How did the idea of working as Blooms first come about?
I have written songs since I was a child and so I always planned on doing this properly but I needed to gain some life experience! I had written these tracks while I was living in Dublin and I just wanted to record them for myself, just for something to do outside of work.
I had been introduced to Sacred Animals through a mutual friend and Darragh(Sacred Animals) really helped me create the sound I was looking for. I waited ages to work with him as he was busy with his own projects but I knew he was the only person who could help me develop my ideas. He just understood what i wanted to achieve. I had been using the name Looms but someone else had it and so Darragh suggested Blooms and the project was born!
Does working under the name Blooms give you more freedom to change and collaborate on your music, than perhaps working under your own name?
Definitely. I feel like Blooms and Louise are two very separate people which might sound ridiculous but I’m trying to create a very specific look and sound for Blooms. Blooms feels like an extension of one part of my personality. It feels like an art project, something I am putting on display and it’s fun to experiment with that. It’s almost like developing a character and because of that there are so many possibilities of where this could go. I would love to record something under my own name in the future but that will be very different from the current project, very raw and lots more guitar!!
To me, your music has a very distinct emotional core to it. Do you like to draw from real life experiences when writing?
Yes, I do. The first EP was written during a very important relationship for me. I was so in love and so vulnerable and it fell apart and I fell with it.
I was writing all these songs at the time without even realising I was capturing it all. It’s a very personal EP. I think it’s important that the writing comes from an honest place, I want people to be able to connect with it. Even though it’s personal to me, it’s still dealing with very general feelings that we all experience but it can still feel so isolating. I think we all find comfort in other peoples stories and that is why I will continue to draw from my own life.
How would a Blooms song first start to take shape. Do lyrics come first or the music?
It varies from track to track. With IF I had written most the tracks on acoustic guitar, all in one go. With the track Lust I had written “Lost in lust, lost in lust, lost in you, in you I trust” in a notebook while in a cafe in Ballsbridge on a lunch break from work! I had been listening to the Gang Of Four track, Damaged Goods. The word Lust is in that track and it just sounds great so I wanted to use it so that track took a little longer to take shape.
For the second EP I am doing a lot of co-writing just so that I can expand the sound a little so the people I am working with might send me some music or I’ll send them a snippet of something and we build it from there. When it comes to writing an album I would like to have a mix. I still like to start a track myself with a guitar and keep it simple.
Your debut E.P. ‘If’ proved successful critically and featured in TLMT’s top 20 for 2014. Looking back how do feel about the record?
I am very proud of IF. It feels like I recorded it so long ago though. I mentioned it is a very personal EP and so when I started playing it live I found that quite difficult. Those tracks were written in private moments singing them quietly to myself. I never expected anyone else to hear them. That EP really did change everything. I have learned so much and it has opened a lot of doors for me. I won’t ever have any negative feelings towards If.
Your most recent track ‘Fall’ seems to be a slight departure from the darker electronic aspects of ‘If’. How is the sound for E.P 2 shaping up?
When I first started rehearsing with my band some of the tracks from the first EP just didn’t translate that well when played live. I feel so close to them but I found it hard to bring them to life and because of this I wanted to write some more upbeat tracks. I also feel like I’m in a more positive place now and so I want that to come across too. ‘Fall’ is still quite dark, lyrically, but it has a fun element to it which is the result of co-writing and working with different personalities.
The second EP has a much bigger sound, I think it sounds more confident than the first one. There are definitely some more commercial sounding tracks but it still has that dark undertone and I have no intention of losing that anytime soon. I tend to send everything to Kobina to get it “kobina approved” because he has such a good understanding of who I am and what my sound is! I can get too close to the songs so sometimes I need someone else to tell me If it’s working or not!
What can we expect from Blooms in the future?
At the moment I just want to make sure the live show is perfect. I’m so new to performing and so I want to make that interesting for myself and for any audience that may want to watch it. The second EP will be finished soon and I am excited to put that out. I have already started work on ideas for an album and I can’t wait to get stuck into that. I want to make music that I care about, I want to work with people I trust and respect and that can bring the best out in me. I want to play all over the world. I want to play festivals. I want to write with and for other artists. I want to enjoy every minute of it. I just want to keep the future of Blooms interesting otherwise what’s the point?
Admission to The Co-Present on Radiomade.ie presents: Blooms, Laura Sheeran & Kobina live at the Twisted Pepper on April 25th is priced at €10 on the night. Doors are at 8pm, for more information visit the event’s Facebook page here.
Click below to listen to Blooms’ recent single ‘Fall’.