Bloom Unveil Track-By-Track Breakdown Of Debut Album 'Maybe In Another Life'

16 February 2024 | 10:00 am | Jono Hawkey

Jono Hawkey, vocalist of the Sydney-based melodic hardcore group Bloom, takes The Music on a track-by-track journey through their debut album, ‘Maybe In Another Life’.


Bloom (Credit: Jack Fontes)

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Maybe In Another Life is a concept album about possibility. Stylistically diverse, the record fluctuates between soft-spoken, atmospheric melodies and searingly intense riffs to sonically match the changing and conflicting perspectives of the voice in the record.

Told as a story in 10 parts, Maybe In Another Life examines longing, self-indulgence, fantasy, manipulation and despair through the eyes of a character that is constantly challenged by their reality. Maybe in Another Life contains our heaviest moments and most memorable choruses to date and brandishes the full range of the sound we have been crafting since we began as a group.

Working with Christopher Vernon (Belle Haven, Better Half) throughout the entire process, Maybe In Another Life is our most ambitious and carefully crafted release to date. Since recording in early 2022, we have been hyper-focused on every element of this release. From visual identity to colour pallets, we have spent countless hours composing a complete body of work that we are extremely proud of. This is a track-by-track explanation of the album.

Track 1 - An Entry

An Entry came together in the studio, combining the themes of the other songs we had written to that point. We wanted to create a dreamlike atmosphere to introduce the listener to the themes of the album and took inspiration from Reborn from the Hereditary soundtrack. Acting as a prologue to the album, An Entry introduces the listener to the concept of the record, laying bare the mindset of the character they will be following throughout… “Step into my state of mind, where darkness shadows over light”.

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Track 2 - Maybe In Another Life

Title tracks are always tricky ones to write, and we really wanted to nail down something that seemed like a mantra. Once we landed on Maybe In Another Life, the song came together almost by instinct. We paired the lyrics with our most versatile demo of the album cycle, and they came together like they were made for each other.

The song speaks to the characters’ anxieties and their methods of distracting through fantasy. The lyrics contrast the experience of a sordid existence and the indulgence of what could have been. The song touches on a desire to lament the harshness of reality… “Lost in the fantasy of being anyone but me”. The listener is left with a sense of longing at the climactic moments of the song with soaring, symphonic instrumentation that fuels the words “Let me start again, I’ll make it count this time. Can I start over? Maybe in another life”. 

Track 3 - Siren Song

Siren Song opens and closes with intensity. This evocative and emotionally charged song delves into the experience of being ensnared by a manipulative partner whose allure is as irresistible as it is destructive. The initial demo for Siren Song was written in March 2020 and was the first step in a heavier, more aggressive direction for us.

Upon deciding on the lyrical concept for this track we realised that this was the perfect song instrumentally to bring the anger and resentment of the lyrics to life. Frenetic screams of “Sew my mouth shut… Nails scratching, heels dragging” accent the rapid-fire lead lines and blasting rhythm section. The haunting refrain, “Keep me in the dark”, echoes the relentless manipulation that surrounds the characters as they question their own sanity. 

Track 4 - Carve Yourself Into My Lungs

Carve Yourself Into My Lungs shows us the first feelings of solace within the protagonist. The sentiment of anxiety we have seen from the previous songs on the record begins to slowly sink their teeth into the newfound love and begin to tear it apart with the fear of loss. “If you’re taken away my eyes have no use. Blinded by dark in the absence of you”. Pleading and melodious vocals cry as the song builds to its finale of an extreme declaration of dependence - “If you leave I can’t bear to stay. I’ll join you in another place”.

We wanted to write a song that took the listener back to Bloom’s roots. With most of the record being closer to the metalcore side of the genre, we wanted to feature the melodic hardcore side of the band, and we think that was achieved perfectly through this track. The title of the track is the feature lyric that speaks to the idea that if you were to lose the person you love most, you would do anything to continue to feel them close to you, even if it came at the detriment of yourself. 

Track 5 - You & I

A song about the bittersweet nostalgia of love, You & I is a focal point of the record. The only song on the record with no screamed vocals, it represents a moment of clarity and reflection. Sweepingly sweet guitar melodies wash over poignantly vocals to introduce the heartbreaking realities of change. Dual vocals carry across the track, trading shared sentiments: “We fight with the words, We don't wanna say, But we'd be naïve, To think that we're okay”.

The heartbreak established in the opening verse begins to adapt into a naturalistic metaphor for the relationship or “what [they] planted” together. In reflection, the love that was shared still remains, and You & I culminates in gratitude and the clemency of affection with chords brimming with both understanding and sadness over the words, “Another time, Another Place, You & I another day.”

You & I leaves the listener with a sense of both melancholy and optimism, reflecting the complexities of human relationships and the reality that sometimes we must choose to grow and evolve, even if it means parting ways. Sonically, You & I is also a new direction for the band, taking inspiration from bands like Movements. As a homage to our previous works, hardcore fans may notice the main lead in the chorus from the title track of our first EP, Past Tense.

Track 6 - Fragments Of A Dream

Fragments Of A Dream unites the previous themes and ideas expressed in the record to this point. This song began as a slow moving mood track that has been around for years in demo form. We knew that we wanted to have another bookmark song for the record, where we could really flesh out its main ideas, and this drone-like piece seemed to be the perfect opportunity for us to explore some softer, cleaner songwriting.

Delving into the complexities of self-doubt, longing, regret and unfulfilled dreams, this song is a soul-searching journey through the emotions of someone grappling with the weight of their past. The haunting refrain, “I’m shown all things I could have been if I was anyone but me”, encapsulates the torment of self-doubt and a desire for a fresh start. The soft-spoken nature of the calm, measured, clean vocals and slow pacing invokes feelings of a tragic acceptance of fate, a progression from the anger-laden appeals of songs like Maybe In Another Life. The track fades in clarity towards the end and makes way for a raw reimagining of the chorus, bringing newfound heartbreak to the last lines, “Hollow one, forgotten son”. 

Track 7 - Laughing Stock

We wanted to create a song on the album that hit hard, fast and brutally. The minute of chaos was created initially as a live intro track that was too engaging not to put down on record. 

Laughing Stock is a raw and unfiltered exploration of inner turmoil and despair as the protagonist spirals out of control. The song delves into the protagonist's feelings of isolation and the perception that the world is oblivious to their pain. “I’ll lower myself down while you all just stand around. Why are you all so happy?” expresses a deep sense of disconnection from those around them.

While the subject matter is undeniably heavy, the vocal delivery and haunting musical composition make Laughing Stock a poignant and thought-provoking composition that speaks to the depths of human suffering and the urgent need for action. It confronts the listeners with the reality of mental anguish and the overwhelming desire to feel something other than mental pain, even if it means resorting to self-destructive measures. 

Track 8 - An Exit

Throughout the album, the self-indulgence fantasy has been interwoven throughout every track, and finally is realised here as a dream of death itself. Very self-referential of our 2018 single Phantom Pain, this track evokes nostalgia in a contextual sense as well. The song was built around the verses of that old single, and reconceives old lyrics with new meaning. Implicating that indulging in a self-destructive desire leads to destructive ends, the protagonist is confronted with the horror of their longing.

“Lost inside an empty space, With nothing left in sight,” screams the vocal as the grinding instrumentals and wandering lead line echo uncertainty. The song progresses deeper into the vision of the afterlife, as “Shadows start to shimmer” before the protagonist is given “a glimpse into… fate.” The light that has been a leading piece of imagery throughout the visual and lyrical journey of the album now becomes “devouring” as it consumes the protagonist. 

Track 9 - Through The Threshold, Beyond The Bend

The finale of the record takes us to the world that the protagonist has longed for: “The scenery has changed.” We wanted to create a blend of all the textures we had explored sonically throughout the record and tie them all up. The song started as a reference to some old tracks like The Service, and we wanted to bring that structural element along with the cleaner textures of the record. As our protagonist is confronted with the manifestation of their fantasy, the song alludes to the hollow nature of this exterior change, “Surrounded by a family, They're strangers to me now.”

The environment is in direct contrast with the consistency of emotional discontent, as the instrumentals bend and fade from optimistic high notes and swelling low dissonance. The comparison doesn't end there, as the track was built with the lyrics acting in opposition to the sweeping, grandiose instrumentals. The journey finally ends with self-realisation, “I wasted time, A wasted life” before cruelly regressing back to the start of the cycle, as the last words “Maybe in another life” are screamed as the instruments cease. 

Maybe In Another Life is out everywhere via Greyscale Records and Pure Noise Records. You can buy/listen to the album here.

Bloom’s next Australian show is supporting Touche Amore for their New Bloom Festival sideshow at Belgrave’s Sooki Lounge – you can find more details about that show here.