Golden Bloom
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Golden Bloom

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Boston, MA
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Pop Indie

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Recently, SPIN and music community website Sonicbids teamed up to bring worthy new bands the attention they deserve. Tonight at midnight EST, Boston radio station WFNX will broadcast the latest installment of the SPIN/Sonicbids Emerging Artists' Showcase, featuring eight cool new bands from around the world, hand-picked by SPIN.com staffers from more than 500 submissions. (Tune in to 92.1 FM in the Boston area or listen live online via wfnx.com). Scroll down to meet these up-and-comers, snag a song from each, and click their website links to find out more!

GOLDEN BLOOM
Hometown: New York, NY
Recommended if you like… Wilco, Matthew Sweet
Why we picked them: We're admittedly big Wilco fans, and "Doomsday Devices" feels like a great b-side from the Summerteeth era.

http://www.spin.com/articles/spin-picks-8-undiscovered-bands-worth-listen - SPIN.com


by James DuBray
Issue date: 2/10/09

Golden Bloom:TBA (Summer, Unsigned)
What's Known: Notable friend of Guster, Shawn Fogel, will team up with a new group of buds and have a record out by this summer. After rifling through hundreds of mailed-in singles and albums, a "Spin Magazine" intern really liked an indie pop song called "Doomsday Devices." A well-compensated "Spin Magazine" staff writer took the assist and featured Golden Bloom in a piece highlighting little known bands.
Why Care?: First and foremost, unsigned bands barely exist anymore outside of college bars and high school garages. Second, and more importantly, "Doomsday Devices" is quite good.

http://media.www.ndsmcobserver.com/media/storage/paper660/news/2009/02/10/Scene/Top-Five.Albums.To.Anticipate.In.2009-3620794.shtml
- The Observer


Magnet Magazine kicked off what they aptly christened "Summer of Golden Bloom" with The Lemonheads-like outlier, "E.H.M." from debut album, Fan the Flames. That's the ghostly album artwork down below. If you're not familiar, nine music magazines and websites (including yours truly) are premiering Golden Bloom tracks every week until the album drops on August 18th. Today, we've got an exclusive download remix of runaway single "Doomsday Devices." The original track had sort of a Wilco-lite aesthetic going on (like much of the summery debut). This retooling, by the Athens, Georgia electro-rock threesome Ruby Isle is an auto-Tuned freak show. The remix could easily slot in well with the rest of Kindercore's stable of dance-pop bands. Side note: Ruby Isle bandmate Dan Geller is the co-founder of Kindercore. The Ruby crew mutate the apocalyptic Casiotone sing-a-long into a schizophrenic banger. I guess if you're facing the end of the world the best distraction is sweating it out on the dance floor. Golden Bloom is spearheaded by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Fogel (pictured) and features drummer Michael Azerrad, a music journalist who wrote Our Band Could Be Your Life. Other band mainstays include Deleon frontman Dan Saks, Pink Floyd tribute band The Machine member Ryan Ball, Brooklyn guitarist Jeff Patlingrao, and Guster sideman Josh Cohen. The power-pop group is touring the Eastern seaboard this summer. Fan the Flames was recorded with Ryan Ball at The Gearbox and produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Mates of State). Fogel also retinkered with Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller) and Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek)

Here's the official schedule of "The Summer of Golden Bloom."

Golden Bloom Album Promotion - 'Fan The Flames' Song By Song
19th June "E.H.M" @ magnetmagazine.com26th June "Doomsday Devices (Ruby Isle Remix)" @ undertheradarmag.com
3rd July "Fan the Flames" @ tuneraker.com10th July "She Leaves Me Poetry" @ bagofsongs.com
17th July "The Fight at the End of the Tunnel" @ consequenceofsound.com
24th July "Dead Petals" @ ryanssmashinglife.blogspot.com
31st July "If You Believe" @ spin.com
7th August "The Mountainside Says" @ popwreckoning.com
14th August "Theme For an Adventure at Sea" @ fensepost.com - Under The Radar


Back in January, we featured Golden Bloom as part of our popular Undiscovered Bands Worth a Listen series, and loved their Summerteeth-era Wilco vibe. Now, we've got an exclusive taste of the band's forthcoming debut album -- download the song "If You Believe" below!

Though the band features other members in live shows, Golden Bloom is primarily the brainchild Shawn Fogel, who plays every instrument on Fan the Flames, due August 18. "Every instrument" doesn't just mean guitar/bass/drums either -- Fogel unleashes some top-notch synthesizer and tenor sax as well.

Both are featured on "If You Believe," a sunny slice of Americana-tinged rock'n'roll -- kissed with flourishes of horns and xylophone. And it's not just an upbeat sounding song: "You never know where you're going to find love," Fogel sings. "Strange places where you never thought you'd find it before."

"I like to describe the overall tone of Fan the Flames as frustrated optimism or optimistic frustration," Fogel says. "I think 'If You Believe' plays a very important role in elevating the level of hope amidst some of the darker lyrical content."

Fogel also is hopeful that an unusual online promotion strategy will help get his music to a wider audience: Each of the album's tracks is premiering on a different website as a free download! (Catch up on the songs you missed here.)

But could this track-at-a-time approach mean people only end up hearing one or two songs? Fogel isn't worried. "I know that if I hear a song I really like by an artist who is new to me, I'm very inclined to want to hear their whole album," he tells us. "I'm hoping that people who are just now discovering Golden Bloom will have the same reaction."

http://www.spin.com/articles/hot-new-band-golden-bloom - SPIN.com


First things first: "She Leaves Me Poetry" is my favorite song so far of 2009. Simply constructed but lushly orchestrated, this gem teems with introspection and infectious hooks and lyrical couplets. It's the rare songwriter who can offer such a deep look inside himself (writer Shawn Fogel presents a character that's insecure, yet observant and more realistic than one might think, given that he's preparing to leave a relationship that at times thrilled, perhaps even defined him) without coming off as narcissistic. "Poetry" is a songwriting clinic, a piece for the ages. Fogel's love for basic pop, and his craft in presenting, define the rest of Fan the Flames. "Doomsday Devices" delivers snappy organ hooks and peppy guitars before, near the end, veering into a Casiotone-drum-driven break. It's way more subtle than it sounds. Indeed, the whole song, while brilliant, could have even been bigger, more dramatic (gotta wonder whether Fogel takes this band on the road much: I'd love to hear this song live, as it's likely a barn-burner) but works fine just as it is. There's also "The Mountainside Says," a more deliberate and, like "She Leaves Me Poetry," moderate number with a "da-da-da" break that's kind of like a sideways version of the "na-na-na-nah" chorus in Hey Jude. I really like the playing on this song: I'd just listened to the Band's Music from Big Pink right before giving it a final, "let's-review-it-now" spin, and there are odd similarities in the tone of each. Not to say that there's much rootsy stuff happening with Golden Bloom: It's pop all the way. It's just that within that convention, one expects an epic or ponderous song to break out at any second. And, lo and behold, Fan the Flames ends in proper (save for an odd ditty about Rod Blagojevich) with Theme for An Adventure At Sea, which, as any good last song will do, ties together many of the elements — great playing, exceptional writing and singing, terrific energy and stellar lyrics — expressed earlier in this sensational record. Definitely one of 2009's best releases.
-by ANDY GIEGERICH - Dagger


It must be great to be a one-man band. A single guy in the studio doesn’t have to deal with drum solo divas, backseat writers, or tone deaf backup vocalists. No, the one-man band channels the entire vision from head to headphones with nary an interpersonal roadblock or conflict management seminar to gum things up. No drama. Just music.

So it is with Golden Bloom, the brainchild of one Shawn Fogel. Fogel has done a bit of solo work in the past, to very nice results, but decided to lose his Christian name for the new LP, Fan the Flames. It’s a testament to Fogel’s ability that it sounds like a band was involved here. Though it’s actually the result of careful production and painstaking invention, the album plays like the fruit of a well-practiced band playing much-loved songs. Fan the Flames bears the ring of truth. And a lovely ring it is.

With all the melancholy indie strummers out there, along with the new wave of dance synth, Golden Bloom stands out as surprisingly musical. It’s sensitive power-pop but it effortlessly skirts the negative connotations of that genre. Though he’s getting a lot of Wilco comparisons, Fogel has not their fuzzy twang. No, Golden Bloom is more reminiscent of Ben Lee’s bubblegum folk crossed with the spangly guitar pop of the Slip. He’s interested in melodies, and despite the vast array of instruments he’s mastered to such ends, Fan the Flames has a charming humility about it. The songs stay straightforward, refraining from any self-indulgent solo wizardry. In other words, the musicianship is so good that you forget about the musicianship.

With song titles like “Doomsday Devices,” “The Fight at the End of the Tunnel,” and “Dead Petals,” you’d expect the whole thing to be pretty gloomy. And, lyrically, it is, but the cheerful melodies keep things balanced. Fogel’s mind is plagued by uncertainties, both personal and political, but his bouncy pop makes these bitter brews go down like honey. The opening number, “E.H.M,” virtually rolls your car windows down of its own accord even as its lyrics reveal the failing heart of a disillusioned optimist. It’s a testimony to Fogel’s ability that none of this sounds schizophrenic, melodramatic, or preachy. No, the right descriptors are honest, fresh, and very, very good.

In his sixty-second album closer “Your Minute of Fame,” a hate letter to former Illinois governor Rob Blagojevich, Fogel commands him to, “Move on. We’ve got far too many optimistic songs to sing.” If that’s true, then we can expect big things from Golden Bloom. - Stereo Subversion


I knew nothing about Massachusetts' gent Shawn Fogel (who plays everything here, though he has a live band). But slipping on his debut album expecting little, he refused to leave my player. Hooked! Boning up subsequent reviews, I discovered a stack of early Wilco comparisons I can't concur with. Fan sounds more like an idiosyncratic mix of brassy power-pop and classic mod-pop (ala Secret Affair), with twinges of '70s singer-songwriter succulence and 60's baroque/soft-psych. Along, the scraggly-haired, bearded, mustached Fogel sounds like the tightest band in Chowder-land (figure that!), rendering ridiculously refreshing, breezy, hospitably-hooky tunes such as the Todd Rundgren-esque piano-pop prize "Dead Petals" and the late-period Jam-jaunty "Doomsday Devices". Among a well of lyrical dissatisfaction, there's also this chorus refrain from the '66 Zombies/Beatles-like "If You Believe", as utterly hopeful as Nada Surf's best: "You never know where you're going to find love / Strange places where you never thought you'd find it before." Sounds like my own reaction to encountering this unexpected, unbridled joy.

-Jack Rabid (appears in The Big Takeover issue 65) - The Big Takeover


Golden Bloom's brand of power-pop rock is catchy and infectious just as the genre is known for but the lyrics for their new album branch into the shifting, turbulent times ahead and provide a smart and thoughtful take on music that you get your feet tapping and your hands drumming.

Frontman Shawn Fogel was nice enough to take some time to answer a few questions for Dell Lounge:

Who would you consider your peers in music today? Who has been the most fun to share a stage with?

There are so many great bands out there who I know and respect that I wouldn't even know where to begin. I almost feel guilty listing them because of the dozens I'd be forgetting about. There are three great bands out of Northampton, MA who I've played with and just can't get enough of; The Claudia Malibu, Fancy Trash, and The True Jacqueline. The best part about the years I've spent living in Northampton was that some of my favorite bands were also the local bands who played down the street, around the corner, and were always around!

I love sharing the stage with my friends. In my mind the best bill money can buy is one where the bands know each other and like each others' music. It makes for an atmosphere that you just can't fake. I've felt this way playing with some fellow Green Light Go acts like The Motion Sick, Static of the Gods, Canadian Invasion and Alan Cohen Experience. Which is why I'm so excited about playing with The Motion Sick and Static at our SXSW party, and meeting newer GLG acts like The Handsome Family.

Any other bands that you'll be going out of your way to check out while you're in Austin?

I'm hoping to see an Australian band called The Grates. I met them last year when they were recording their latest album in CT with Peter Katis (who mixed some of the Golden Bloom album). They are HUGE back in Australia so I think it's a real treat to be able to see them fill a small venue with their arena-sized energy and personality. I'm also hoping to check out the Bigshot Touring Artists showcase which is jammed with great acts like Langhorne Slim.

How does the buzz surrounding SXSW compare to other festivals or shows?

It's like nothing I've ever seen! My guitarist Jeff Patlingrao and I played the Halifax Pop Explosion in Nova Scotia two years back, but haven't really played any festivals in the states yet. It seems like everyone I know in the industry from fellow musicians to bloggers to talent buyers will all be there, and as long as you're down there making great music, someone's bound to notice.

How have sites like Myspace and Facebook helped you connect with your fans?

I feel like I'm always catching up with the times. I didn't buy my first CD until 1998, and I still have most of my cassette tapes. It is amazing how you can make a splash in a giant sea of music while sitting in front of a computer though. I spent years playing solo shows in bars and plastering handwritten photocopied fliers all over town, all the while feeling like no one's ever heard of me. Social networking sites have definitely changed the whole ballgame for musicians, heck, my manager even talked me into Twittering!

What was the path that led you to become an "instrumental chameleon"?

It started when I was young. As early as Jr High I was playing piano, clarinet and saxophone. By the time I graduated High School I was singing and playing guitar, bass and drums. While studying audio engineering and studio recording in college I began to write and record songs and play all of the instruments. Although, it took a few years until it really felt natural like it does now. Most people who hear the current Golden Bloom recordings would never know that I played all of the instruments on it unless I told them.

Playing different instruments in different bands has really strengthened my ability to multi-track in the studio. From playing bass in The LeeVees, guitar in The Zambonis, drums in JP05 and keyboard in The Philistines Jr. I feel like I've been pushed to grow as a musician on each of the core band instruments, allowing me to record songs that really sound like a band.

What do you like better, creating music or performing it?

I love them both and I don't think I could do one without the other. In the studio I feel like the possibilities are limitless. As long as I can hear a part in my head I can sit there and play it until it sounds right, no matter how long it takes. The real fun comes once the song is all there. That's when I get to deconstruct it a little, make it take a left turn that even I didn't see coming. On stage it's totally different. There's only one chance to do it right and play your best, to bring as much energy and emotion as you can to six strings and a microphone and really let loose.

What's next for you after Austin?

We're gonna take some of that Austin energy back east for a few shows in Brooklyn, Philly, and Northampton, MA. After that it's back into the s - Dell Lounge


When Shawn Fogel ditched his parent-given name as band title, and instead grasped the moniker Golden Bloom (MySpace), one may have speculated how, if at all, this change would alter Fogel’s sound. With a few band-leaked singles, it was obvious that Fogel and company had progressed, but now, a few eves before the release of Fan The Flames, we are now able to hear that our suspicions are correct.

Fogel’s music maintains much of the verbosity of his early days, merely with bounds of progression in the realm of creating bouncy, upbeat pop songs. In fact, “Dead Petals” hails from an earlier Fogel release One Day In The Desert. However, it isn’t the same version; this one was remixed by Roger Greenawalt.

It’s no surprise that “Fight At The End Of The Tunnel” and “Doomsday Devices” remain among the most noteworthy on the album; both maintain the high level of greatness of Fogel’s earlier work. But Fan The Flames has so much more to offer.

Opener “E.H.M.” for example begins the album with some fun pop that leads beautifully into “Doomsday”. And “Theme For An Adventure At Sea” blends a softer, more relaxed side of Golden Bloom rampant throughout Fan The Flames with the highly infectious pop of the highpoints for an epic climactic conclusion (both to the song and the album).

Songs like “Fan The Flames” and “If You Believe” fit the softer and relaxed sound, providing a pleasant duality of pop songs that balances out the album. The summation of these various styles leads to a greatness that far surpassed Fogel’s prior moniker and makes Fan The Flames an absolute must-hear pop album of 2009.

Fan The Flames will be released this August. - FensePost


Nine different music mags/websites are each premiering a Golden Bloom track in the weeks leading up to the August 18 release of debut album Fan The Flames. That’s kind of like going to nine different theaters to watch different parts of Short Cuts. (There’s no way that movie was in theatrical release for that long.) MAGNET is proud to kick off the Summer of Golden Bloom, mainly because this album is redolent of mid-period Wilco; lead track “E.H.M.” sounds like an imaginary b-side to “Outtasite (Outta Mind)” featuring Scott McCaughey and appearing circa Summerteeth instead of Being There. Man, that was a lot of contortions for a Wilco comparison. Golden Bloom is led by Shawn Fogel (pictured) and features drummer Michael Azerrad, a music journalist whose Our Band Could Be Your Life recently became required reading for MAGNET interns unaware of the existence of Hüsker Dü and Big Black. That’s no way to go through life.

http://www.magnetmagazine.com/2009/06/19/world-premiere-mp3-golden-bloom/
- MAGNET


Discography

2009 - Fan the Flames
2011 - March to the Drums EP
2013 - No Day Like Today EP
2016 - Searching for Sunlight

Photos

Bio

Golden Bloom began as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Shawn Fogel, who played every part on 2009’s debut full length Fan the Flames and 2011’s March to the Drums EP. During this time, he earned the attention of tastemakers like SPIN, Magnet, and Daytrotter. After years of touring with a band, however, he found that songs had evolved beyond their studio versions, and the musicians he had surrounded himself with added new depth and dimension to the music. On 2013’s No Day Like Today EP, live band members Josh Cohen, Jeff Patlingrao, and Justin Hofmann joined Fogel to hone a new batch of catchy, thoughtful songs, recording for the first time as a full band.

Golden Bloom’s evolution continues to unfold in lush melodies on their new record, Searching for Sunlight. The lyrics deal both gracefully and bluntly with hard truths. The music, however, is uplifting and memorable, built around layered arrangements and unpredictable chord progressions.

In June of 2013, Cohen and Patlingrao joined Fogel at a cabin in Maine to begin writing new songs. Although their previous release, No Day Like Today, was arranged and recorded as a band, this record would be a collaborative effort from the very start. Patlingrao had informed the band that he would be shifting his focus to his solo project, Orca Age, but they all agreed he should help write the new album even if he wouldn’t be playing on it. After a week of creative isolation they had the bare bones of the songs that would become Searching for Sunlight.

“Golden Bloom had always worked with outside producers and recording engineers in the past,” says Fogel, “but this time we decided to do it all ourselves. Josh had been building his studio for the past few years, and had recorded and produced several albums for other artists [Kayln Rock, Eva Walsh]. We knew it would take a little longer but we were up for the challenge.” Searching for Sunlight did take longer to write and record than they hoped, but in the process, they expanded the band, welcoming bassist and long-time collaborator Matthew Girard, and discovered a better album than the one they initially set out to make.

In “Books You Never Read,” Fogel sings “Fall back on what you know,” even though Searching for Sunlight does just the opposite both sonically and lyrically. “Looking Up To You” begins with a single finger-picked acoustic guitar and builds to joyful explosion of sound. “Circles Round My Mind” jangles with nostalgia like a lost love letter from Alex Chilton. “Great Unknown” launches with pounding drums and jagged guitars, shaking the listener free of any notion that Golden Bloom has a singular sound. “Fall Out Of Line” explores new sonic territory with banjo, baritone guitar, and lap steel. The title track’s sparse acoustic arrangement sounds just as it does when the band performs live, stepping off the stage and away from the mics to lead the crowd in a sing-along. “Come Back Home” sparkles with the pop sensibility of The Cure, accented with toy piano, synthesizers, and angular guitar parts. On “Want Love,” Fogel’s vocals are straightforward and prophetic: the verse’s sparse, single note guitar parts contrast with the sweet, rich choruses, made moreso by guest backing vocals from Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz. Fogel responds to his earlier lyric from “Books You Never Read,” with, “Is this a version of yourself you recognize?” In Searching for Sunlight, fans will recognize a more mature, refined Golden Bloom. 

If their previous records were stars, Searching for Sunlight is a supernova: the melodies are memorable and hold up beautifully on repeat, the vocals are also sweeter and more refined; the lyrics speak to a deeper sense of self and understanding; and the talented group of musicians paint colorful tapestries with small, unexpected flourishes and tasteful moments of revelation. 

Band Members