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Blossoms on their return with new single ‘To Do List (After The Break Up)’

Tom Ogden tells us about collaborating with Findlay, leaving EMI and starting work on their fifth album.

By Nick Reilly

Blossoms pose as a group in a studio under a red tinged light
Blossoms pose for Rolling Stone UK (Picture: Rolling Stone UK/ Ewan Ogden).

As Blossoms return with new track ‘To Do List After The Break Up’, frontman Tom Ogden has told Rolling Stone UK about the track’s genesis and kicking off a new era after leaving their record label for pastures new.

The latest track from the Stockport group sees them leaning into familiar synth-driven guitar pop, but marks the first time they’ve delivered a duet. Ogden’s vocals on the track are supported by those of Stockport singer Findlay, who recently co-wrote Suki Waterhouse’s ‘Good Looking’.

“We’ve always wanted to do a duet, but this is the kind of song that picked itself to do it,” Ogden explained.

“But we didn’t want it to be someone that we would just crow bar in there. We didn’t want it to be contrived, and I’ve been a fan of Finlay’s music for years, even before we were in Blossoms and her name was going around Stockport as this singer who was getting a lot of buzz.”

He added: “She told us she loved the song after we approached her, so we ended up recording her vocals at the studio that she and her partner Jules have at their house. We spliced it together with the vocals that I’d recorded and it worked really nicely as this back-and-forth between us. That was just the cherry on top.”

The track also shares its name with a poem by writer Rupi Kaur and sees the two sampling a selection of Kaur’s lyrics to deliver a break-up banger that hones in on the small matter of getting your life together after a split.

Take refuge in your bed till the tears dry, don’t listen to slow songs they make you cry. Delete their number though it’s memorised,” comes Ogden’s sage advice in the track’s opening verse.

Ogden says he discovered the work of Canadian poet Kaur – who boasts over 4.6 million Instagram followers – while book shopping during a trip to London.

“I just opened the book on that particular poem and started singing over it and it became a immediate fit. It’s her words, but obviously I’ve added to it and it’s the core inspiration of what started the song,” he explained.

The track has also received a direct thumbs up from Kaur, who heard the song after the group reached out to seek her permission to use the lyrics.

“She’s been really cool with it,” Ogden explained. “But at the time, I didn’t quite realise how big her following is and how much she’s talked about online.”

As well as providing the first taste of Blossoms’ new album, the track also marks a new chapter in the group’s history. They are now going it alone, after deciding on an amicable parting of the ways with label Virgin EMI – who have released all four of the group’s albums so far.

“We’re at a point now where we’re big enough to take the leap and say let’s do something ourselves. We’ve got the help of a distributor called The Orchard who have been great, but it’s not the same as being on a major label. It’s a different set up and now felt like the right time to try something new.

“We did four albums with EMI and now it just feels like a really exciting time to try it on our own. There’s no animosity, it just felt a really natural thing for us.”

Now, Ogden says it’s full steam ahead on finishing album five – especially given that an impromptu stint as a builder is now over.

“My wife Katie and I opened my own bar, the Bohemian Arts Club in Stockport, earlier this year, so that took priority for a while,” he said.

“I was getting there at 7AM every morning and leaving at 11 o’clock at night every day after sticking up a load of plaster boards and meeting the builders. I’d basically changed my job for a while so there was no time to write songs,” he said.

“Once we opened the bar I was kind of like ‘oh God, I’m playing catch up here. But we’ve managed to get to a place where we’re really excited about it now.”

He added: “Especially when we’ve been making this song, it’s felt like we’re boiling what we do down to its most basic form. We’re being a band that plays instruments in the studio and getting together to do something that just feels natural. It was nice to get back to that and be like ‘Oh yeah, this is why it feels good and the reason it feels natural is because this is how it all began for us in the first place.”