BLOOM are back! The creators of “Cold”, Past Tense, and “Cure Me” have returned, set to break hearts and blow minds with their historical ease. Unofficially seeming to mark a new era for the Sydney band, “The Service” premiered via triple J’s Short.Fast.Loud on Wednesday, and releases today together with a music video.
“The Service” isn’t subtle, ripping the listener into the scene of a funeral service from its explosive start. The sonic suddenness carries that feeling of shock and discomfort that comes from being at a funeral. In that environment, you’re looking death in the face, perhaps for the first time; which is at least part of what Bloom are sharing in the new single.
Heart-wrenching, especially with the voices of Jono Hawkey and Jarod McLaren combined, “The Service” gets more and more emotionally tough as it goes. Downward and inward stepping, observations are shared of the experience as well as loved ones’ expressions. Repeating the line “I watched my mother” comes across as a peak of overwhelm, and feeling anxious while sitting there in the pew.
At a funeral not only are you feeling your own feelings about the person in question, but there’s also family members around you going through the experience, while witnessing you endure it too. Added to this is the reflection of the deceased person’s features in another. A living person as a memory of someone who is gone is something uncomfortable to be with on top of one’s grief. Somehow “The Service” captures all of this.
“The first time
I’d felt death
Is my last memory
At times feeling and sounding like the protagonist could run or scream in terror from the experience, the song is confronting. Every syllable of “Death be not proud” is slammed home, much like the slap in the face that realisations of mortality can do. The ragged edges of Jono’s voice adds to this emotional fragility of the entire experience. In amongst jagged riffs and turbulent rhythms, regret bleeds through the repeated statements of “I wish..”.
In a small reprieve from the intensity, it’s just a melancholic guitar in isolation, before Jono’s scream of “You left a mark on me I had never expected” pulls anguish front and centre. Repeating and growing, greater instrumentation joins in, and the regret of not being a more closeknit family is made clear.
It’s heart-wrenching as a listener, and this is due to how well Bloom have painted the scene with “The Service”. With Jono as pallbearer, describing the weight of the coffin, and how cold the day was, we are right there with him. The two voices interwoven, slamming drums, and searing guitars paint the song’s final section. It’s haunting and unsettling, with the pained “I never want to go through this again” leaving a final mark of anguish.
“The Service” comes released with a music video too (made by our photo guy Ivan Souriyavong!) which tastefully captures the subject matter and reinforces the emotion of the song with its edits. Watch via YouTube below, and you can find “The Service” via streaming services too.[Image by Georgia Moloney]