goldenbloom_4panel_masterGolden Bloom “Fan The Flames” is largely the work of indie-folkster Shawn Fogel. But Golden Bloom the band is Fogel backed by greats: Michael Azerrad (yes, the rock writer) on drums, Jeff Patlingrao on guitar, Ryan Ball on bass and Josh Cohen from Guster on keys. The live band is loud and rocking, and the album, with all instruments played by Fogel, is softer around the edges, more polished. But most albums are.

That said- this is an indie-pop gem. Fogel is totally unafraid of his inner-geekdom. His songs are about poetry, girls, the end of the world and other twee subjects. But he’s totally serious about it, and that makes him and his songs charming.

I have watched the career of Shawn Fogel for nearly a decade. He’s still the same goofy guy he always was- but his songs have grown (a bit) more serious. He used to sing about ADD (in a humorous way) and Fake IDs. Fogel has never strayed far from the indie-pop line and that has done him well. By staying directed, and knowing the kind of music he likes and wants to make, Fogel has perfected the art. For example, he didn’t follow one of his touchstone songwriters, Ben Kweller, who has moved more toward the alt-country vein of pop (a poor choice).

“Fan The Flames” is the first full length album for Golden Bloom, but Shawn Fogel has released multiple albums and EPs over the years under his own name. This album was recorded with Peter Katis (Tha National, Mates of State) as well as Roger Greenawalt (Ben Kweller) and Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozalek).

The album’s high points are “Doomsday Devices,” available below, and “Dead Petals.” Both songs are heavy on Fogel’s pretty tenor and feature quirky pop details like synthesizer sounding keys, or bongos.

“Theme for an Adventure at Sea” starts off with a Neil Young inspired acoustic guitar line and an even-more Neil inspired harmonica line. And who doesn’t like Neil Young?

“Fan The Flames” leaves one with no complaints. It’s a very pleasant sounding album. For someone who wants a bit more oomph or a rough rock sound, this is probably not your thing. But for indie-pop heads- this is pretty great.

Golden Bloom is playing the NXNE Festival in Toronto tomorrow night, Saturday. The album is out on August 18 and the band will play a release show on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Pianos in NYC. See other dates here.

Golden Bloom: “Doomsday Device”

click the above link.

Golden Bloom: “Doomsday Device”