Based in Amsterdam, Pip Blom is a young and promising artist who is a musician with a year of countless opportunities at her feet. The indie/pop songwriter works hard at writing, recording and releasing her own compositions. Having only started out in the middle of 2016, she has already received acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, and has built a following across Europe and the US. Back in October Pip Blom unveiled her 3 track EP Are We There Yet? consisting of three powerful and incredible offerings. Towards the end of the year Pip toured the Netherlands and England whilst recruiting a full band creating their raw, sparkling Blom sound. Our writer Gavin Brown spent some time talking to Pip to discover more about her influences, the EP release and the support gained to date.
My music career started when I was fifteen. I saw an invitation to join a competition and I thought, “lets try this”. I had never made my own songs, but I did use to have guitar lessons and singing lessons. I started writing songs on the Loog guitar (it’s a guitar with three strings) and made 16 songs, all under two minutes long. They were very simple but I discoverd it was something I really liked doing. And that’s how it all started.
Q- Who are some of your musical influences?
I’ve got quite a few but the most important ones are Kim Deal, Damon Albarn and Parquet Courts.
Q- How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?
I always have trouble describing my sound, but last week someone called me ‘Lo-Fi Indie Rock Monster’ and that’s a description I really like.
Q- Your new EP Are We There Yet? is out soon. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Of course, “Are We There Yet?” consists of three songs. I’ve tried to make it a bit diverse, not all the same type of songs. I’ve chosen the title “Are We There Yet?” because I wanted to have a title that shows doubt, but also a eagerness.
Q- What are some of the subjects you sing about on the EP?
A bit about love, a bit about one of the nicest cab drivers I’ve ever met and a bit about feeling alone. Very alone.
Q- As well as being upbeat and catchy especially with the melodies, there’s a definite infectious rawness to your music. Was this something you wanted to showcase?
Yes, I’m not to keen on the whole ‘clean’ sound thing. And one thing I need to add – I record everything at home, in a very basic studio. I don’t even think it’s possible to make something which sounds very clean there.
Q- What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
I hope the biggest highlights are yet to come, but playing at ITGWO was really cool. It’s a Dutch festival on a very small Island. We played at a foodtruck and it was so much fun. The whole ambiance was great.
Q- You’ve received support on the radio for your songs Hours and Truth from the likes of Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq in the UK and various American radio stations too. How did that feel?
Amazing, I’d never expected to recieve so much international support. And especially not from such important people. It’s surreal.
Q-What has the reaction to your music been like so far?
There will always be people who don’t like what you do, but so far the reactions are great! My grandparents don’t really like what I make, they think my voice is lost in all the ‘noise’. Other than that I’ve recieved almost no negative comments.
Q- Your double A sided vinyl single Hours/Truth was the first release on the Grunt Grunt A Go Go record label in thirty years! That must have felt good to have that released on that label?
Yes it did! It is so cool to be released by an English label. And fun fact: they’ve released an album from my dad’s band too, they were the second release on GGAGG. I’m the third.
Q- You only played your first gig in June. How did that go?
It was nerve-wracking.We had arranged everything ourselves so it was a lot of work. We did three shoes in a small rehearsal room which only fitted 30 people at a time. And that was band includedAll three were sold out,so luckily hard work pays off: It went great and people seemed to really like it!
Q- Was that the first gig with your new band?
Yes it was. In fact it was my first gig with a band, ever.
Q-Can you tell us about the band?
The band concists of Tender (guitarist, singer and my brother), Bowie (drummer and old classmate) and Berend (bass player, and old classmate too). We’ve been together since April 2016, so not very long but we get along very well.
Q- Have you got any gigs coming up?
After my mini UK tour, we will be supporting Canshaker Pi on their tour in the Netherlands.
Q- You must be looking forward to coming to play live in the UK?
Yes I really do, but I’m very nervous too. I’m on the boat whilst writing this interview and the first gig is tommorow. So: nervous but I can’t wait at the same time.
Q- What’s your favourite song to play live?
Hours. I really like the structure of the song and the sound of the guitar. The repetitiveness works great live.
Q- You are based in Amsterdam. How does the city influence your music?
I’m not sure that Amsterdam influences me that much, but I do write quite often about things I see or do. So in that way, Amsterdam is in almost every song.
Q- What is your favourite thing about Amsterdam?
The size of the city is great, you can get everywhere by bike. And an other thing I really like is the fact that there are lots cool venues, which means that there are cool concerts almost every night.
Q- What music venues/record shops in the city would you recommend to us?
I love OT301, it’s a very cool place to see a gig. And ofcourse, if you’re in Amsterdam you should visit Paradiso. It’s probably one of the most beautiful venues ever.
Q- What are your plans for the year?
Play lots of shows, we’re all very new to this so in order to get better we need to play a lot. And of course also because it’s something we really like doing.
Words: Gavin Brown