Review: Madness Blooms Get Off to an Exciting Folktronica Start with Debut Eponymous EP

madnessblooms

For fans of Kimya Dawson, Owl City, and Evanescence, let me present to you the Seattle-based folktronica group Madness Blooms. Their eponymous debut EP was released January 29th, 2016 and mixes elements of folk, pop, rock, and a hint of synthpop.

“Own It All” has the feel of a Milky Chance song mixed with the indie-quirk of the Juno soundtrack. Meghan Sinoff’s vocals are technically perfect, leaving it almost unconnected to the accompanying music. You can tell this song was crafted in the Pacific Northwest, as much of the lyrics deal in the subject of gardening. “St. Jerome” takes on a darker, more dramatic-sounding backing track which balances Bradford King’s lead vocals. The deep synth bass pulsating throughout the song gives it an almost tacky, ‘80s feel, but I hear that’s on the rise again.

“The Cusp” changes things up completely with a melodic piano intro paired with grungy electric guitar. The pulsating synth bass makes another appearance and Sinoff regains lead vocals. I could hear this song being remixed by Skrillex. “Hold” takes us down a treelined folk, country road. The song has an Imagine Dragons feel to it in the middle with King on lead vocals.

“At Sea” could be straight out of a broadway musical, possibly an adaption of The Little Mermaid. Our old friend the pulsating bass rivals Sinoff for lead in this dramatic ballad about the ocean. Meanwhile, “Tunnels of London” is a fast paced, complex piano heavy tune which sounds reminiscent of Queen. Continuing the emerging pattern, King has lead vocals again with Sinoff singing backing harmonies.

“All Wrong” is the first song to prominently feature acoustic guitar which suits Sinoff’s vocals quite well. Before too long the pulsating ‘80s bass is back along with harmonies from King. “Over” closes the EP with an ever-building, piano-heavy ballad studded with dramatic vocal harmonies. This song pretty much loses the “tronica” in “folktronica,” and the “folk” is more like rock, very reminiscent of Evanescence.

They’re called Madness Blooms, but their music will cause something much more complex to grow inside your head.

(The Madness Blooms EP is available digitally and on physical CD via Madness Blooms’ Bandcamp page. You can stream the EP via the embed below.)

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About Sarah DiMuzio

Sarah DiMuzio is a Portland based musician-music-enthusiast hybrid. On the musician side she is a singer-songwriter who releases music under the moniker Whim, and to date has one EP released titled "Small Infinity - EP." On the music-enthusiast side, she delights in seeing local shows, and has recently started a local music showcase titled Portland Selfie Sessions. The main idea behind the sessions is simplicity. Without the budget for filming equipment, or the knowledge to use said equipment, Sarah makes due filming sessions using her smartphone-- hence the name "selfie" sessions. You can check out her music at https://whimmusic.bandcamp.com, and you can learn more about Portland Selfie Sessions on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/portlandselfiesessions