Alpines – Full Bloom
With their new album, Alpines demonstrate that they’re a duo unwilling to hold back.
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it's apt to judge a record by its title. Full Bloom, the third album from London duo Alpines – comprised of Catherine Pockson and producer Bob Matthews – hints at the confidence in which the pair approached the making of the record, the blossoming of a band who have been steadily honing their craft over the years.
Full Bloom distils the different aspects of the duo’s slightly left field take on pop and R'n'B, capturing a myriad of influences. They weave together trap alongside UK garage beats and, on highlight Heavy Metal, combine metallic flourishes with a squalling guitar solo. It’s all drawn together with a slick, contemporary sheen, and Pockson’s vocals anchor all the disparate elements as her voice glides and soars across each of the tracks with ease. On Human, she gives her most emotionally arresting performance.
When Full Bloom is at its most immediate, it's more often than not a shimmering and sleek pop record. Unfortunately, it’s also weighed down by a few mid-tempo tracks that feel sluggish by comparison, especially in its latter half; Be Yours is sincere, but the slow pace and tension between the drums and gospel tone takes away from that earnestness. Despite this, Alpines still demonstrate that they’re a duo now unwilling to hold back.
Listen to: Heavy Metal, Human