After what feels like a life-long winter, sentenced to the four walls of the homes we’ve become somewhat accustomed to this past year – the end is teetering on the tips of our very fingers. With lockdown restrictions slowly easing, and a hint of sun peaking from behind the clouds, a sense of optimism has swept the nation, leaving this summer much anticipated for. Perfectly embodying this hopefulness, is Bolton based surf-punk band Blond Blood, in their latest single ‘Ocean’, released 1st January, 2021.
Luke Jones (guitar) and Rory Branagan (lead vocal and guitar) met as teenagers during guitar lessons whilst at school in Bolton. Spending years seasoning their craft together, the two began hunting for musicians in their local area to form a band, employing Morgan Roscow on drums some years later. After releasing their 5-track, debut EP ‘Gill’ in 2017, their online success saw them mimicking the footsteps of their Northern musical predecessors, by performing in some of Manchester’s most renowned venues, Academy 3 and the Deaf Institute. Blond Blood then released their debut album ‘I’ve Never Surfed’ in 2018 – creating their quintessential Californian summer beach aesthetic. Now with over 14,500 views collectively, this band has certainly become Bolton’s best beach-vibe band.
Released at the start of 2021, ‘Ocean’ encapsulates the sense of excitement the new year brought with it, through its rumbling thunder of drums and exuberant harmony of voices, similar to ‘Wasted Time’ by Bababewatch. Although the song only has five lines of lyrics (of which could be memorised by the second minute of the track), each reiteration employed a renewed sense of animated exhilaration and flare for summer. Echoes of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ circle around the vibrant verses, before a volta precedes what can only be described as a beautifully coordinated flurry of chaotic melody. Roscow’s use of crash and hi-hat somewhat mimic the animated, plunging wave in the audio’s visualiser on YouTube. Repetitions of a cartoon surfer falling off his board accompany the track, with sunlit peach, purple and monochromatic filters flashing throughout the song – making for a refreshing, simplistic video which allows full concentration on the music.
There’s no doubt this track will become the soundtrack to a much-anticipated summer this year. Blond Blood’s staple Californian beach vibe radiates through this tunes’ sustained lyrics – vocalising the excitement of that the prisoners of lockdown desperately cling onto.
Words: Simone Harrison