Sweat It Out
Following up a successful album is a challenge for any band no matter how talented or remarkable they are. As time passes between the first and the second, a level of anticipation builds around the next musical offering, often creating expectation and hype. Once devoured by the masses, the first album can become a pedestal for what the sequel will hold.
Bloom is one of those well-made sequels, where the creator has complete creative control and the end result has enough familiarity with carefully selective new content to please everyone. To back up their 2013 hit album, Atlas, Sydney electronic trio RÜFÜS have produced something to be proud of; a 9 minute long track that demonstrations development and growth from the band, all the while retaining a sound that they have flagged as their very own.
From the gorgeously smooth opener, ‘Brighter’, to the dark and romantic closer, ‘Innerbloom’, RÜFÜS balance an elegant mixture of light with dark and warmth with cold, displayed crisply though mellow electronica and house-esque beats.
‘Brighter’ serves as the blossoming introduction to Bloom, with a charming rhythm that flows along on a laidback tempo. Next in line are the lead singles, ‘Like An Animal’ and ‘You Were Right’, encapsulating that familiar RÜFÜS sound of icy synths and soft bass lines.
Planted strategically in the middle of these two is the first taste of a classic house music beat that the band has decided to explore. ‘Say A Prayer For Me’ has a shuffling rhythm that appears throughout Bloom, setting RÜFÜS on a different yet welcomed path. On tracks like ‘Be With You’, ‘Until The Sun Needs To Rise’ and ‘Lose My Head’, house music influences surface, combined effortlessly with the icy, spacious RÜFÜS sound. Most notably, ‘Be With You’ begins essentially as a house track; hi-hats and bass line with a faint classic piano hook at the very beginning, morphing into a catchy and dance filled chorus.
Tyrone Lindquist’s vocals are as graceful as ever, adding an even smoother texture to the already suave beats and frosty synth sounds. On repeat listens, Bloom offers up newer layers each time; sometimes you notice the depth of Lindquist’s vocals and backings or even small spacious clicks and sweeps of a new synth pad that washes beneath the music. It is advised to listen to Bloom through different platforms, sometimes through large speakers and at other times through a pair of headphones, simply to grasp the complexity of the music.
The last track perfectly captures the essence of frameworks and exquisite styles of Bloom with an indulgent nine minute long journey called ‘Innerbloom’. Like a colourful x-ray of the entire album, ‘Innerbloom’ begins and ends with a breath of air, fluctuating between light and darkness, balancing these opposites through sophisticated sound. A soft synth build layers the track whilst a click beat shuffles along. Segments of minimalistic quiet lead into soft nu-house drops. It is ambient, romantic and unquestionably catchy, serving as a sharp and defined closure to the album.
If Atlas was the audible orbit around a newly discovered exotic planet, then Bloom is the tranquil surface, filled with even more layers and endless oceans of finely produced sound. Where Bloom begins to sound slightly familiar, RÜFÜS add a new coating of noise to discover. Old fans will love the accustomed style and newer additions, whilst new listeners will be captivated by its catchy rhythms and addictive beats.
Stand out track: Innerbloom