Golden Bloom: No Day Like Today
From the very first listen, I knew this album would stay in my regular rotation. Golden Bloom’s five-song EP, No Day Like Today, is like a mixture of The Fray and Death Cab for Cutie (if they were happier). Each song has a different sound, starting off with the perky “Flying Mountain.” “Deliver It For Me” is a soft song that almost disguises lyrics that question faith. “Shadow of a Man” is a hand-clapping, almost twangy first-person story of a man who turned to a crime spree. The last two songs take on a darker sound with more edge than the previous three, making them my two favorites. “White Whale” gets dreamy in the chorus, edgy on the verses. “Lone Reporter” is a slow, dark description of a newspaper in a small town that builds in intensity as more instruments are added (but the vocals remain a constant throughout.) The songwriter captured my small town quite well in the clever lyrics so I wasn’t surprised to find out that the band seems to bounce around New England (the songs were written in founding member Shawn Fogel’s long-time vacation spot in Maine, the album was recorded in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and they’re currently based in New Jersey.)
“White Whale” is the stand-out song. Thanks to a marked difference between the verses and chorus, it’s kind of like two styles combined into one. The choruses have strings and piano, floaty female backing vocals (reminiscent of Kim Deal’s in The Pixies,) making it dreamy. The time signature changes on the verses, speeding the song up, and a guitar becomes prominent. Even the lyrics change between the verses and chorus. The chorus alludes to Moby Dick and searching for a (metaphorical) white whale and how the pair originally set out to find it. The verses seem to be about the same pair that are now hardened from the search. Though I usually hate these half-and-half songs that switch sounds half way through, this one completely works for me. It’s the right balance of pop and rock, unified by the same lead vocal style.
Though “Deliver It For Me” eventually grated on me after repeated listening (for some reason, I couldn’t take hearing the line “birds in the trees” repeat one more time,) this album will definitely be added to my regular rotation. Clever lyrics, a soft sound, and great arrangements make this a great album. I only wish that there were more of the darker sounds that are introduced on the last two songs, these were the two that brought to mind the Death Cab for Cutie comparisons. I’d love to hear more of this and where the band could go with this. If you like The Fray, Snow Patrol, Keane, or Death Cab, this EP will fit well into your playlists and will likely please your ears.
MP3: Golden Bloom “White Whale”