The first words you hear on Primp’s debut album Half-Bloom are “You can go away,” but by the time I reached the closing track, I was glad I had stayed. This Vancouver-based alternative garage rock band brings a collection of songs that are both relaxed and fun.
Half-Bloom stays consistent throughout its eight tracks with distorted guitar and tight drumming that combine into a warm, melodic, low-fi sound that keeps your head nodding. The instrumentals are accompanied by dreamy, soothing vocals that feel familiar even on the first listen. “Fonky” features a catchy guitar riff that continues across most of the song, but the mellow vocals keep it from getting repetitive. This is followed by “Growing Down,” a short but hard-hitting song thanks to its aggressive guitar and fast-paced drumming. The grunge influence in this track stands out from the rest of the album and serves as its energetic peak.
The album then begins to calm down with “Think about U.” The track dials in on anxieties propelled by a relationship, as vocalist Aly Laube sings “Now you’re calling back and I’m having a heart attack.” Along with the repetition of the words “Think about you,” the track conveys a charming innocence.
The two biggest highlights on this album are the final tracks. “Blue” features soft vocals and an uplifting guitar progression contrasted with rebellious lyrics like “I’m going to scream / ‘Til my face turns blue,” reminding listeners of youthful outbursts. “I Know Now” features a deep bassline that is complemented by an accompanying guitar riff that meshes together into a trance-inducing, distorted groove.
Half-Bloom is honest, youthful, and has enough personality to define itself amongst other similar garage albums. Although the distorted guitar can sometimes be overbearing and runs the risk of drowning out the soft vocal melodies, it never persists long enough to impede the songs’ meanings. This album will certainly be an easy addition to your late-night playlists.