(Citrus City Records)
The debut cassette from Atlanta pop quintet True Blossom, Heater is a tight half-hour masterclass in pristine, nostalgia-soaked disco pop.
Fans of Citrus City label-mates Video Age should find much to enjoy in True Blossom’s brand of throwback synth pop as well, but whereas Video Age are something of an anachronistic hypnogogic lo-fi Hall & Oates, True Blossom’s syrupy sentimentality manifests itself as a tender blend of Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, and ’80s city pop. “Flu Punks” in particular sounds much like an Americanized take on the romantic coming-of-age anime ED, with its beaming vintage synths, sugary sweet singing, and carefree funk groove. Elsewhere, the lilting harmony-driven balladry of “Grave Robbers” evokes the filmography of John Hughes, the title-track serves up a tight, lockstep shuffle and charming conversational vocals, and closer “What I Want I Can Never Have” wraps its heart-wrenching, youth-reminiscent lyrics in a package of innocent euphoria long since lost.
Heater is an awfully appropriate name for the album, with warmth in its many forms its calling card: the warmth of the bass tone, the warmth of young love, the warmth of fluorescent lights, the warmth of the sun beating down on you as you drive through the city on a beautiful day. Even Sophie Cox’s vocals are soft, gentle, and cozy, just like a warm blanket.
Heater is one of those albums where it’s hard to imagine anyone disliking it. Cleanly produced with rich, intimate mixes, accessibly written yet packed with little details to latch onto, pure and adorable without being cloying in a way very few manage, it’s capable of softening the most callous and icy of hearts and transporting the listener back to the simpler, magical days of youth when every color seemed brighter and your childhood crush was the axis on which the world turned. An absolutely lovely debut.
Favorite tracks: “Flu Punks”, “What I Want I Can Never Have”
Rating: Strongly Recommended
You can purchase True Blossom’s “Heater” here.