Velvet Bloom's new single, 7Hundred25, is out now! We chat to front woman Maddy Herbert about their music and more.
On their latest track, 7Hundred25, neo-soul, alternative-pop band Velvet Bloom navigate feelings of longing as a relationship comes to an end. We chat to front woman Maddy Herbert about the track, the bands creative process when creating music and more!
Velvet bloom is the musical project of singer-songwriter, Herbert. The project sees the singer perform solo and with different variations of her live band, The Vito Collective. They released their debut EP in 2019, which saw a number of single releases. Earlier this year, the group released the upbeat, alt-rock pop track, Standards.
Their new single, 7Hundred25, is void of a major drum and bass section, instead opting for a swelling electronic strings section and the introduction of delicately crafted elements throughout the song. The track is set to feature on a ‘Cousin Will Records’ compilation album.
7Hundred25 is out now! Read our full interview with Maddy below!
Tell us a bit about how you started your musical journey…
Our musical journey started with us performing under the name “BLOOM”, as our music began to evolve, we decided that a name change would be fitting! I grew up listening to lots of music and I’ve always been captivated by strong, soulful voices. Norah Jones, Amy Wnehouse, Aretha Franklin and Freddie Mercury were cherished in my household. These artists sparked my interest in singing and love for soul.
Your new single 7Hundred25 navigates longing for someone and the prospect of a relationship being over. Could you tell us about the song and the importance of exploring these themes?
This song is about realisation and acceptance. It is about navigating that transient period towards the end of a relationship and choosing yourself. It is important to be aware of your current state of being and really centre yourself so that you can feel confident in the decisions that you make. There’s authenticity in acceptance. I wanted this song to feel emotional without weighing on positive or negative themes - I wanted it to feel raw and real!
The track is void of a major drum and bass section, instead opting for a swelling electronic strings section and the introduction of delicately crafted elements throughout the song. What was the song writing process like for 7Hundred25, and did it differ from your previous releases?
This song is one of our most stripped back, and one of our most multi-layered.
We wanted the beginning of the song to feel really raw and highlight the simplicity of that initial ease when you spark a connection with someone special. Throughout the song, elements are introduced (almost unconsciously to a listener I’d say). As these layers build you feel this tension coming from the vocals and I guess this speaks to that two year mark where, in my experience, it’s been ‘make or break’. Comparatively to other releases, we were able to have more studio time on this track, so I feel that we were able to put more thought into the songs bigger picture.
The track is set to feature on a ‘Cousin Will Records’ compilation with a multitude of great artists. How did that opportunity come about and which songs from the release are you most excited to hear?
We have been friends with The Grogans for quite some time now and we were honoured that will wanted us to be involved with this incredible project. There was a limited release of white vinyls for this compilation but I’m pretty sure that they have sold out… SO massive props to Will for the countless hours of work that he has put into this project. ALL of the tracks hold their own on this compilation, they are unique and beautifully written. In saying that, Quin Grunden has his debut solo release on this album and I cannot wait for people to hear his stuff. What a talented being he is!
You have quite a unique sound, crossing neo-soul, alternative-pop and jazz-rock. How did you arrive at the genre bending sounds prevalent throughout your releases?
I write what I feel. All of my releases blend variations of soul and intertwine alt. pop/ jazz/rock/folk. I love songs with emotive vocals - people like Jeff Buckley, Dorathy Moore and Ella Fitzgerald have always spoken to me. They had their own unique style in their realm of music and let their songs develop into whatever they were meant to be. I love the idea of having our own unique sound and letting the music grow into a genre of its own eventually.
You perform with different variations of your live band, The Vito Collective. How do you think introducing a variety of musicians into your own musical path influences the way you create and hone in on your own musicianship?
I adore my band! It is so nice to have freedom to present Velvet Bloom however we please. I feel like it makes the project adaptable! Some settings are more suited to different variations of our live performance, which gives people the option to decide which version of us that they want for an event.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording songs?
Honestly, each time is super different! Usually I write the entire song and bring it to the band to jam out their parts. A song like Standards was super collaborative - we pulled the arrangement apart and put it back together to form the released track! 7Hundred25 was a track that had all of its bones prior to recording, however, with our time in the studio we were really able to refine all of the songs elements.
How do you feel your music speaks to listeners?
I hope that people feel connected to our music. I hope that listeners feel that they can relate to the lyrics and immerse themselves in the lush soundscapes. One of my favourite parts of releasing music is writing songs that resonate with our people and heal emotional wounds.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts?
Ooh I always love this question! If you’re reading this, please go and check out Rissa, Lara Prokop, The Grogans, Teenage Dads, Great Gable, Indigo Mckeon, Gaia Scarf, Ed Moon and of course Yara Alkurd! I am always posting new music releases from friends on our socials so keep an eye out!
What has been the most challenging part about creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The lack of live shows has been really hard on us. I miss the atmosphere of performing to a crowd, in a venue. It has been super challenging being unable to jam with the band and I cant wait to show them all of the tunes that I’ve been writing in ISO!
Can fans expect an album or EP in the near future? If so, what can fans expect in terms of the sonic sound of your future full-length release and if you are continuing to experiment with any new sounds?
YES! We will be working on an EP as soon as it is safe for us to do so! Velvet Bloom will be experimenting with our sound and exploring new sonic textures. The prospect of recording an EP is the most exciting thing to come out of 2020 for us!
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? And what can people expect from a Velvet Bloom live show?
We were set to go on our first national support tour with Great Gable in October 2020 so we are hoping that these plans can eventuate next year - its all a waiting game at the moment though, hey!
Today, Jeff Buckley
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Choose Your Weapon - Hiatus Kaiyote
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Honey soaked Neo-soul
Best song of 2020?
Twisted - Rissa
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
10 Things I Hate About You
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
When we performed the Listen Up Music Org - Songs That Heal Competition finals in 2019 and won!
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Malibu - Anderson .Paak
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Best concert you have been to?
Sampa The Great
Last concert you went to?
Guilty music pleasure?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your Spice nickname be?
Well I think I was always baby spice in my group of friends haha
The most amount of people you’ve ever performed in front of?
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry?
Quincy Jones, Amy Winehouse and Witney Houston
What advice would you give yourself a year from now?
TAKE A BREAK
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I performed Oliver in 2006 - I was 10