Album of the Day: Somni, “Bloom”

The backstory to Bloom is that Somni labored over its sound, drafting three years worth of revisions and reinventions. Maybe that’s why the music feels exact, purposeful, and studious. The San Francisco-based producer was originally born in the U.K., but moved to the U.S. at age eight. In a sense the production carries that same dual citizenship. One can hear as much Four Tet or Boards of Canada as Baths and Teebs. Somni’s Bloom pulls from all these different sounds without relying too heavily on one; his aim is to illuminate every last detail within his electronic beat-driven music.

The song titles could suggest arcadian escape or simply the front stoop, like on “Girl,” in which he pairs dutiful whistling with twinkling porch chimes and soft wind. And while the outset of “Spaces” feels tauntingly familiar, Somni transitions to a deeper state of calm, using layered vocal arrangements with strong psychedelic effects. On this song and others, Somni always brings the listener back safely, navigating the unknown until he comes back to his starting point. To that end, Bloom achieves peace of mind without pushing the listener too much into full-on, blissed-out exotic escapism. As the album teaches us, we can achieve nirvana by simply closing our eyes.

-Blake Gillespie

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