Olivia Ryan | April 23, 2022
Velvet Bloom are an Australian alternative, neo-soul project, best known for creating sonic magic through their effortless fusion of pop, jazz, and rock. Composed by frontwoman Maddy Herbert and live band The Vito Collective, Velvet Bloom is a dynamic collective of artists on the precipice of launching their East Coast tour, hot on the heels of their recently-released EP, Glimmer, in which their genre-bending prowess is on full display.
Opening with ‘A Chance to Miss You’, listeners need possess no patience, immediately being met with Maddy’s voice and its breathtaking range. Her buttery, soulful vocals are paired with sentimental lyrics, layers of truly angelic harmonies and the playful sound of a xylophone that washes the track with a subtle element of nostalgia.
‘Glimmer’, the namesake of the EP comes next. What might on first listen sound like a lullaby to the object of one’s infatuation, is in fact a number that Maddy wrote about her relationship with her mother and how much she has inspired her to be the person that she is.
“My dad passed away when I was four and the strength that I saw in my mum following this loss helped to shape my entire being. This song is about expressing admiration for the people who you love and making them aware of how special they are,” she said of the stirring track in a press release. “Some people have a major influence [on] the way you see the world and if that influence is positive—you should hold them close.”
Velvet Bloom continues to feature more effortless runs from Maddy, who also co-directed the ‘Glimmer’ music video with bassist Anthony Rennick, a piece of stunning visual storytelling, right from the costumes sourced from local makers to the use of dreamy lighting and soft focus to a recurring mirror motif.
“We wanted to use mirrors to communicate how the people who we have the deepest admiration for are woven into the making of us as individuals,” Maddy explained in a statement. “This was also the reason behind the family-portrait style videos of people who have played a huge role in supporting our journey! I love my community and feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by such incredible people. ‘Glimmer’ is an ode to my people.”
Sandwiched in the middle of the five-track record is ‘Interlude // Easy Breasy’, which boasts an instrumental soundscape reminiscent of being on a carousel; the muted atmosphere and whispery vocals evoking the warmth of a lovestruck memory. The following track ‘Run’ starts off similarly mellow before morphing into a rich, bright ballad that ensures you won’t forget the sheer power behind Maddy’s vocals.
Closing the album is ‘Free’, which begins with the sound of a crackling old-school vinyl record player and leaves nothing unsaid with a comparatively gutsy, upbeat tempo and the repetition of the lyric “I just want you here with me” throughout.
This group is the real deal and this EP only affirms that by offering up a familiar yet simultaneously fresh sound to listeners, through their instinctive experimentation in mixing and melding different musical styles. While Maddy’s voice is the true showstopper on this EP, the creatives she has surrounded herself with only enhance her talent. Their musical virtuosity is bound to be only more dazzling in the flesh. You can see them live in Melbourne on Saturday the 11th of June at The Toff in Town in Collingwood. Purchase tickets here.
Listen to ‘Glimmer’ below:
Photos by Anthony Rennick, Joshua Davies, Jess Newton