12 Nov 2013
Check out what has inspired this rising band from Sheffield.
Sheffield-based outfit Blessa have been bubbling up under the radar for a minute now, and are finally stamping down with a mission statement on their grander intentions with the release of their debut single 'Between Times' on new 7" single label No Self. The five piece produce emotive and soaringly romantic music that's frankly hard to ignore.
Despite displaying a love of Beat poetry, '60s Czechoslovak film and the truly underrated composing work of Angelo Badalementi, the band's words, and thoughts, continually drift back to their adopted, nay true home of Sheffield, revealling it as the defining spurring monument behind their collected work to date.
As one Marie sits in the bath with the other, she says "how do you know you exist?", to which the other replies "because of you!", "of course!" which is, for me, representative of how I feel about Sheffield. We came here and met in our teens and now, as if by magic, we're here as adults. Sheffield has informed the best years of our lives. We're feeling the benefits of finally being 'grown ups' and it really feels like a place where anything is possible. It was coming back to this film a couple months ago I suddenly realised that I'm in a place I couldn't imagine being without, with people that have shaped who I am and that one day I might inevitably have to leave, which is a reality that gets played out in ‘Bloom’. (Olivia)
Frank O’Hara - 'A True Account Of Talking To The Sun At Fire Island'
Reading Frank is like talking to my mum (no offence, Frank). There’s a sense that despite whatever is encountered in the poem you won’t be left without a solution. Emotion isn’t avoided, by any means, but he never fails to provide an antidote to pain. O’Hara’s voice consistently provides itself as a space for praise, movement and energy in order that we too might experience how ‘wonderful’ it is, ‘to get out of bed’, ‘and smoke too many cigarettes/ and love you so much’. I hope at some point we write something that someone might keep returning to in order to 'keep right on' as often as I’ve come to poems like these. (Olivia)
Girls – ‘Headache'
'Lets be the people that we want to be'
John Ashbery – Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror is a perfect portrayal of the decentralised and dispersive nature of identity, and the limitation of meaning to the subjective. Our songs aim to speak of inner conflicts, memories, lacks and desires, rather than arrogantly expounding some kind of prophetic description of culture or society. The ability and desire to seclude oneself, to escape into ones own consciousness and suppose that nothing exists beyond it, is hugely informative of our music and also true of us as very private people. (Jake)
Boss BE-5 Multi effects pedal
Boss made this pedal in Japan in the 80’s; my girlfriend’s Dad handed ours down to me. The writing of all our songs starts on this pedal; we find through limiting ourselves to one piece of defunct technology we inevitably put the emphasis on simplicity. Despite 25 years of abuse it still sounds amazing - the chorus mode is a mainstay of our set. (Alex)
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks
This video is stunning. Badalamenti describes how he wrote one of the key themes from Twin Peaks, with the process essentially boiling down to writing to a mood and trusting base instincts. We aspire to write like this and we love the show; we even re-worked the opening theme at Tramlines this year. (Alex)
Chromatics – 'Kill for Love'
The way this song forges space and variation out of what is in essence one chord change is unparalleled. It shows that under a great pop melody you can create shifting moods and intricacy. There is no cheap sentimentalism here either; the vocals and music convey pure emotion. (Alex)
Kelham Island, Sheffield
This is where we rehearse. It’s an old industrial area where abandoned factories have pretty much exclusively been converted into rehearsal rooms and art studios. Our space feels completely isolated from Sheffield itself; one room where we can create without any external distractions. The area as a whole feels far more focused and industrious than the rest of the city. (Alex)
Watch Blessa's new video for single 'Between Times' below.
Catch them tonight (12/11) at their London single launch at the Tipsy Bar in Dalston.