Wombo – Blossomlooksdownuponus

A kaleidoscope of sounds and colors comprises the latest album from Kentucky’s art-pop outfit Wombo. Blossomlooksdownuponus is a tapestry of ideas stitched together into cohesion. The band blends styles and conventions from post-punk and indie rock, melding and stretching them even further, resulting in a collection of unpredictable and whimsical moments. Wombo’s careful use of the familiar and the unusual makes each song so captivating. Each new track starts with a surprise and can end in an entirely different way, yet there’s a sensible flow to it that makes it all feel seamless.

Vocalist/bassist Sydney Chadwick graces these songs with her singing prowess, ranging from cool and groovy to belting in high-pitched operatic flourishes. All while drummer Joel Taylor and guitarist Cameron Lowe adeptly shift each song section constantly into different directions with melodic craftiness.

Tracks like “Sad World” showcase their post-punk roots with a galvanizing bass line and bright glossy riffs. It’s a song that balances the line between somber and energetic, with angular guitars that pierce at each other towards the climactic breakdown. “Overwhelming” takes this idea even further, a song that encompasses its title to the fullest. Loud and full of clashing  tones, (with a garnish of twilight-zone-esque riffs) this one feels like a mind being bombarded by cosmic energy, or what it feels like to learn calculus for the first time.

Although they can be loud, Wombo also expresses finesse through their slow and groovy tracks. One of the highlights “Ginkobiloba” starts with a gliding tempo, where Chadwick croons with a free-flowing vocal. A subtle dissonance emerges in the track which drives everything up into chaos, culminating into Chadwick going full operatic burst while the riffs explode around her, leaving the conventions of the slow start behind for a complete evolution.

The surprises never end in Blossomlooksdownuponus. Centerpiece “Rain Dove” is a minimalist instrumental with only guitars dancing on an oom-pah beat while ambient sounds of the outdoor breeze sweeps through the track. “A Place of My Own” has the erratic rhythms of math rock while having an urban beat filled with otherworldly psych textures. I would say the best track is the six minute opus “Black Hole Sun II”, a haunting lofi lullaby that starts off brooding but develops into a weird bouncy pop song. How that happens is an aural adventure in and of itself.

Getting yourself stuck in the wondrous world of Wombo and Blossomlooksdownuponus that’s weird at first. But with a production so crisp and melodic movements so smooth and satisfying this one turned out to be a really fun listen. Check it out for yourself!

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