'Boat' by Pip Blom, album review by Adam Williams for Northern Transmissions



Pip Blom

Something of a prodigal talent, Pip Blom set out to emulate her favourite group but with a twist “I want to be the female Parquet Courts because…why not?”. And why not indeed. Although the formation of the band that would take her name took some time. However, this didn’t halt the Dutch born artist, as Blom ploughed on with programming drum machines, while laying down her own bass and guitar parts, to essentially create a full band by herself. Zip forward to 2019 and Blom has recruited three plucky candidates to help forge her indie- punk aesthetic; Darek Mercks joins on bass, Gini Cameron on drums and Pip’s brother Tender, finalised the outfit on guitar. Having caught the ear of Heavenly Recordings, the Amsterdam troop have readied ‘Boat’, a collection of songs that bristle with a youthful angst and enthusiasm, all wrapped up in a poppy, yet ragged sound.

‘Daddy Issues’ perky ‘Hey Mickey’ intro kicks off ‘Boat’, a song that’s custom built to open a record. With its writhing energy and catchier-than-the-common-cold appeal, Pip Blom manages to marry a sugary pop slant with lyrics that illustrate modern life struggles and frustrations. Through the jiggling riffs and peppy drums, Pip can be heard purring “you said you never want to die and now you don’t care anymore”. Feelings of anxiety and powerlessness are interwoven throughout ‘Boat’s lifespan; ‘Bedhead’ strips back matters to a simple drum beat and a calm trill of guitar while Blom’s anxious confessions are both vulnerable and relatable as she states “I woke up/felt like I never slept/no one knew what was wrong/toxic thoughts taking over my head/every day felt way too long.” ‘Boat’ can be found navigating darker waters on the brooding ‘Tinfoil’; it’s reverb drenched, sinister crawl envelopes the broken intercom-esque vocals of Blom, who appears crestfallen “I know I really want to do it/but is it worth it in the end”. Ever the self-proclaimed Anglophile, Blom flexes her Brit-pop influence on ‘Tired’s dark yet playful bounce; it’s a song that swells with a migraine-like intensity and this is reflected when Pip refers to a thumping head pain “someone’s coming at me and my head pounds”. “I Feel the hatred flow” punctuates the spasmodic blasts of awkward indie-punk of ‘Don’t Make It Difficult’ as the lyrics and song’s DNA convey a growing notion of frustration.

The waters might be choppy but ‘Boat’s course has been plotted out and this is just the start of an intriguing adventure for Pip Blom and her intrepid crew.

Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams


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