At a studio in Tottenham, Mads Christensen is swinging eagerly in his make-up chair. “I’ll have what she just had!” he exclaims, pointing at his bandmate and lead vocalist Mette Mortensen, now sporting freshly reddened lips. The day after the shoot, we meet at Shoreditch’s Hoi Polloi. “The guys were crying the whole day afterwards, they were like, ‘There’s powder in my eye!’” laughs Mette.
Off Bloom are enjoying their time in London. The Copenhagen trio is completed by Alex Flockhart, who’s English but moved to Denmark. Alex and Mads met in high school, and it was a theatre course that introduced Mads to Mette. “There was a same energy to [Mette] that I think Janis Joplin had - a craziness, a raw power,” recalls Mads.
Scandi pop has been enjoying a moment for some time, of course. Off Bloom have been compared to fellow native acts like MØ and Liss, but the trio draw inspiration from Scottish electronic music, Brian Eno and ’70s krautrock rather than their Danish homeland. “Hudson Mohawke’s record ‘Butter’ introduced us to the Glasgow scene and LuckyMe,” says Mads, “which fucking blew our minds.”
Tracks like ‘Love To Hate It’ and ‘Falcon Eye’ employ fierce pop melodies (“It’s everything from Bowie to Britney Spears,” quips Mads) but boast the kind of electronic quirks you’d find on a HudMo record. It’s live, though, that the trio really blossom. At a show at an East London boozer, surrounded by taxidermy and artisanal farming equipment, the band charm the sluggish, post-work crowd, blending in nostalgic pop riffs with their own productions.
The element that’s most important to the trio, however, is honesty. “It’s integral to our process because we have no fucking idea what we're doing,” admits Alex. “It’s having an idea, feeling a certain way and then just vibing with each other instead of actually knowing anything - cos we really don’t!”
“You just have to sit and do weird stuff,” Mads finishes. “Until something hits you.”
WHAT: Fiery, punk-influenced pop with killer hooks
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Love To Hate It’, ‘Orchid’, ‘Falcon Eye’
FACT: Photo shoots haven’t always come so naturally for the band. They laugh about a time a friend snapped press pics for them (“They were so bad,” says Mads. “We were like, ‘Are we really that ugly? We can’t really show these to anyone!’ Even my mum was like, ‘What the fuck?’”)
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Words: Felicity Martin
Photography: Sophie Mayanne
Styling: Vincent Pons