Silent Bloom, EP Review: “Sour Mercy”

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Local Indianapolis indie band Silent Bloom combines elements of jazz, blues, and indie rock on their 2019 EP, “Sour Mercy”.

This week, we’ve been looking at a lot of bands competing in the Battle of the Bands this year. But there’s also a time to take a break from that, and look at some of the other good music that’s already out there. So with that in mind, today we’ll be looking at Silent Bloom’s new EP “Sour Mercy”.

But before we get into our review, here’s a little bit of information on Silent Bloom first, for anyone who hasn’t heard of them, or is just a bit curious.

Silent Bloom

Most local bands will offer a list crediting their members, or at the very least a short bio about the band. These are usually considered to be good things to offer on a website or social media page, as they can help audiences connect to the band whose music they enjoy. So this is where more information on the band would go, if it existed online.

What I can tell you, is that before a year ago, Silent Bloom didn’t exist online. But last year alone, they released the three singles “Absolute”, “Blossom”, and “Sensory Depreciation”, along with one EP, “Sour Mercy”. Silent Bloom has also played a few shows around Indianapolis, including Crescent Ulmer’s album release show last August at The Pioneer, and the Garfield Park Art and Music Festival.

Sour Mercy

“Fever King” is the opening track to Silent Bloom’s debut EP, “Sour Mercy”. The track opens with some lo-fi synth vibes before the lead singer’s slightly filtered vocals come in, with a kind of melancholic tone. A minimalist drum beat shortly accompanies the vocals during the verse sections, while a reverb-soaked guitar strums quietly in the background.

Following up “Fever King” is the EP’s title track, “Sour Mercy”, which has a slightly bouncy feel to it. The punchy drums are balanced by the wavering, psychedelic guitar and accompanying synth, giving the track somewhat of an underwater feel. While I like the variety of tones, at times it can feel like too much is going on.

The second half of the EP kicks off with “Lagoon”. Again, we get a pretty similar formula that you can begin to recognize as Silent Bloom’s sound. The driving beat, unusual guitar tones, and melancholic vocals all find a place when Silent Bloom is behind them.

The EP ends with the track, “Snake Oil Dream”. This track features another unusual guitar riff that carries the song, but is also backed up by a strong bass backbone. While the music itself could come off as disorienting, the vocal melody does a good job in anchoring the song and giving it more shape.

Final Thoughts

Overall, “Sour Mercy” isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but I can appreciate the songwriting craft that went into it. Silent Bloom is a band that knows what they are, which is something that can’t be said about a lot of local bands out there. With such a defined (and refined) sound in the first year of their existence, it’ll be interesting to see what Silent Bloom comes out with next. And whether they’ll change their sound to experiment more, or stick to what’s working.

If you enjoyed this review of Silent Bloom’s EP, “Sour Mercy”, you can listen to it by visiting them on Bandcamp. You can also find out more about Silent Mercy on Facebook.

Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.

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