Bloomsday Heart of the Artichoke

Label
Bayonet Records
Released
7th June 2024

Format Info

Plasma colour vinyl

The way Bloomsday’s Iris James Garrison writes songs feels like somewhere between a mirror and a memory. Spacious, full-bodied folk songs, they are an ode to things that are good no matter how small; they sometimes feel like the ghost of a Mary Oliver poem. Bloomsday’s new record, ‘Heart of the Artichoke’, is a relic of unfettered creativity and community. They recount the miracles of the mundane, the memories that become sacred, an ode to all that is holy: nightswimming, songs plucked from the ether, the ways friendship can endure.

Like earlier Bloomsday songs, the work here is threaded with warmth; it’s simmering, crisp and deeply human, an encapsulation of the present moment. Recorded across 10 days in June 2023 in upstate New York at duo Babehoven’s studio and co-produced by Babehoven’s Ryan Albert, with mixing by Henry Stoehr of Slow Pulp. The record was built out with a wide ranging group of collaborators, including inventive drumming from Andrew Stevens (Lomelda, Hovvdy), Alex Harwood, Richard Orofino, Babehoven’s Maya Bon, Hannah Pruzinsky (h.pruz, Sister.), and Chris Daley. It was an insulated and collaborative experience: all family dinners on the back porch, bonfires, feeling a full sense of joy, of friendship, of purity in the artistic self.

Collaboration is an integral part of Bloomsday’s musical process. Garrison is malleable in the studio, their songwriting generous and spacious. But in listening to the record, there’s a sense that Garrison leaves room for the players, for the listener; for songs to find the shapes they’re meant to take. Garrison’s role as maestro is crucial, singular – it’s a collaborative, exploratory spirit harnessed by Garrison’s intuition, and by an honest commitment to carve out creative space for play, to delve into what’s known – or pushing past that, into unknown. “The ghosts of the past still come up and haunt me,” Garrison says, “but I sit in what I have and see it. All of these songs are about loved ones, about personal struggles with getting out of my head and being present.” Heart of the Artichoke was written from a healed, matured place – written in a moment of safety from chaos. It’s a prayer for the present, an appreciation of tenderness and what happens once we give ourselves the space to really see, and really feel – becoming free and whole – an ode to the way healing allows us to bloom.

Produced by Ryan Albert of Babehoven; features vocals from Babehoven, Richard Orofino, h. Pruz. Mixed by Henry Stoehr of Slow Pulp.

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