The Dutch outfit return with a third album which steps away from their indie-rock bangers and ushers in a new era of pop joy.
The first two slices of the Pip Blom discography are fantastic; offerings of indie pop-rock with big riffs, singalong choruses, backed by an infectiously groovy rhythm section.
Having established themselves as a perennially underrated band with big tunes, record number three is always an intriguing prospect. Some acts go for more of the same, following a formula that clearly works for them, whilst others take a more psychedelic approach, grow beards and take too much acid, or the nuclear option is to reinvent entirely.
Pip Blom have chosen the latter of these approaches, leaning much more into the “pop” part of their “indie pop” heritage. Lead single ‘Tiger’ is a massive moment early on, with Pip setting their stall with intent. There are huge synth components and an overall carefree attitude which is present throughout – the chorus on ‘Tiger’ is huge, another theme which permeates Bobbie, and sees Pip Blom branching into floor filler territory. They are expertly blurring the lines between rock and pop here.
Personal Trainer’s Willem Smit makes an appearance on ‘Kiss Me By Candlelight’, whose vocals add a real gravitas to a great cut, full of synth wobbles and distorted electric guitar parts. Smit’s voice contrasts fantastically with lead singer and band namesake Pip Blom, with her higher register working beautifully with his more sultry tones. The same can be said for ‘Is This Love‘ which sees Pip duetting with the megacroon of inde elder-statesman Alex Kapranos, in a cut that is so undeniably funky, it could be the best thing the band has ever created.
Pip’s indie roots are never far from the surface here though, and ‘I Can Be Your man’ is a fantastic account of the band in their 2023 album three era: funky and upbeat, with bouncy guitar parts, which are complemented fantastically with bouncy synths and wicked drum machine parts. The band are colliding worlds here, with an expert touch. The same can be said for the brilliant ‘Where’d You Get My Number?’
The entire record is slick, and ultra produced by Dave McCracken. The shiny, polished production really suits Pip’s new direction and the whole album just shines. It is so eminently listenable and will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step regardless of mood. Bobbie is Pip’s best work to date.
Photo credit: Sanja Marusic