Photo: Alessandro Casagrande
Kid Bloom's otherworldly new EP, Lemonhead, is just as good for your soul as fruits are good for your body. Los Angeles' very own Lennon Kloser has been building Kid Bloom as a musical project since he was in high school. Considering how much success he has garnered over the years, it's quite clear that his hard work has paid off. Ever since we discovered Kid Bloom's debut A Different State of Mind (EP 2016), we've been obsessed with this constant gifting of psychedelic indie righteousness. Continuing this generous tradition, Kid Bloom is treating us to yet another fabulous record, Lemonhead.
What sets Lemonhead apart from Kid Bloom's previously existing discography is the crucial root of the record itself. Whereas the other releases tended to be more upbeat and uplifting, Lemonhead seeks emotional authenticity and pure human connection. Kloser admits that these six songs were written at one of the lowest points in his life, during which his moral compass led him astray. Because of this, Kloser was able to channel his deepest thoughts into the brutally honest songwriting we can now experience in Lemonhead.
Photo: Mallory Turner
Lemonhead opens with the bass-heavy title track, which immediately sees Kloser displaying his insecurities for the world to accept or deny. The mature record touches on Kloser's past with substance abuse and negative thoughts, as he blames himself for all the trouble he's caused for the people closest to him in "CULPRIT." The bittersweet "SUGARCOAT" then continues this theme of self-deprecation with Kloser shaming himself for using excuses to avoid important issues.
Decorated with lively percussion and Kloser's rich vocals, "EVRWNDR" is inspired by his hypersensitivity to emotions. The grungy guitar licks in "DOES IT MAKE ME WRONG?" perfectly complement the dark lyricism in which Kloser details a toxic relationship that involves false accusations thrown every which way. To top it all off, Kid Bloom collaborated with Bekon on "CIRCLES," a charming ballad that features a beautiful string arrangement that will leave you in tears.
On Lemonhead, Kloser shared,
"'Lemonhead' was inspired by a self-reflection period in my life where I completely drained myself of love and let my morals stray a bit too far from me."
Let yourself become one with Kid Bloom by streaming Lemonhead below:
To celebrate his new music, we chatted with Kid Bloom about composition books, morning routines, and of course, Lemonhead.
OTW: How did you come up with the name Kid Bloom?
KB: It's kind of a mixture of two things. So when I was in high school… You know those notebooks that are like, black and white with the classic…
OTW: Composition books?
KB: Exactly! I would write "Kid Bloom" in them over and over again.
OTW: Hahaha. Just randomly?
KB: Yeah. Just like, over and over and over again. And then I kind of draw a little cartoon character of whatever the fuck I thought that was. So that was something that was around when I had to name my project. I was just like, "Oh yeah… Kid Bloom! That's me."
OTW: That's a super dope name though.
KB: Thank you! I'm very self-conscious about it. Never really knew if I liked it or not.
OTW: Haha. Well, ever since A Different State of Mind (EP 2016), we've known that Kid Bloom is an unstoppable force that will only continue to grow.
KB: You're sweet. You're so sweet.
OTW: Yeah, I've been a big fan for a long time now.
KB: Well, you guys have been supportive since day one. So you bet your ass that we're both going to be at the top together one day.
OTW: Yes! Did you expect your career to be where it is now?
KB: Hell no! Absolutely not. I'm blown away. I'm just completely… I can't believe it.
OTW: Isn't it crazy to think about how many people know who you are and listen to your music? That's so weird to me.
KB: But you know what's so weird? Now, all of a sudden that's a thing. That wasn't the case three weeks ago. I'm just smiling. I'm happy. I'm in a really good place. I've never been this happy in my life. I've always had a really hard time with myself and others. So I've had to do a lot of self-reflection.
OTW: How does Lemonhead compare to your previous releases?
KB: Lemonhead was this period in my life where I was completely acidic and shitty and awful and toxic. I was in such a bad place and once I realized I was in that very bad place, I wrote the record. The record itself helped me come out of it. So for me, it's a testament of being a lemonhead and also a celebration of being a lemonhead.
OTW: Aww, I really dig that.
KB: But that's all it is for me. That's why I'm super happy.
OTW: Well, I'm happy you're happy.
KB: Hahaha. I'm gushing a little bit.
Photo: Mallory Turner
OTW: As we can tell from "SUGARCOAT" and "EVRWNDR," you constantly experiment with eclectic soundscapes. Would you say this is a method that's important to the Kid Bloom image?
KB: 100%! That's my favorite part about it. I'm such a fucking nerd. More than anything, that's really what it is and if I can shed light on it. I'm literally sitting right now with a buddy of mine and what we're doing is going back and forth on our computers giving each other sound. You know what I mean? Nerd! That's how it is. Especially when I'm making a new record or a new song, it takes me a long time to just decide what it should sound like.
OTW: Yeah, you get really into it. How do you think "CIRCLES" in particular neatly concludes the EP?
KB: I think it's the most honest thing I've ever written. You know when people say, "I'm just going to leave this right here for you guys?"
KB: I wanted to do that. What people wouldn't expect is to start the EP with a punch in the face and end the EP with ["CIRCLES"].
OTW: I feel like it really ties it all together.
KB: Yeah! Totally. It humanizes the whole thing.
OTW: You released "Parents House" and "Prom?" as singles last year, but they're not on Lemonhead. Why is that?
KB: Here's the thing… They were originally supposed to be on it. But I know this music is more honest and in a different realm completely. Those songs are really fun and it's also beautiful to have "Parents House" live in its own universe. It's kind of encapsulated in its own little corner. And so is "Prom?" What I love about "Prom?" and "Parents House" is that it's literally the ups and downs of being a pubescent high school kid in love. You have "Prom?," like, "Why is no one dancing with me?" This self security thing like something's got me down. Then you have "Parents House," which is like, "Hell yeah! Your parents are out of town. I'm going to take this cute girl next door over to her parents' house and the rest you can fill in for yourself. But you get what I'm saying.
KB: I feel like those were the only two emotions I felt when I was at that age.
OTW: You know what's funny about "Parents House?" Remember Green from the OTW team?
KB: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Obviously, I love you guys and I've met you all on so many separate occasions.
OTW: For a while, Green, out of nowhere, would just start singing, "Take me to your parents' house…"
KB: That's awesome!!! Oh my god. I have a plan for that song. Obviously, we're going to play it, but trust me… That song is going to be the most lit song live. Like, that's the one. That one's more lit than "LEMONHEAD." When that song comes into a live setting, that's going to be the one. So I'm very excited. Also, that song is special to me. It's kind of like a wrapped little candy. Like a little treat.
OTW: Cute! How did "Electric U" end up being on the soundtrack of Independence Day: Resurgence?
KB: I don't know.
OTW: Hahaha. My answer to everything: I don't know! It just happens.
KB: I don't really know. It happened. I freaked out.
OTW: Did you go see it in theatres?
KB: Yeah, it was pretty crazy. When it came on, it was just like, floating through space. And then it was like our song playing in space. Pretty fucking crazy. And "Parents House" got the Gigi Hadid thing, which completely solidified it for me.
OTW: We need to know… are lemons your favorite fruit?
KB: Check this out… I get up in the morning and I pour a big glass of water and I squeeze a lemon into it. When I was going in and down this dark hole, I would only be drinking a drink that I made for myself called Lemonhead. It was just a gin and tonic with lemon juice. It was literally the drink that started the beginning of the end. It all came together. Lemonhead is just this whole thing that's been showing up in my life. Just Lemonhead, baby.
OTW: That's so interesting.
KB: I know. It's weird. And I feel like it's about me being in control right now, which makes me very happy.
OTW: This is the last question… Who are your Ones To Watch?
KB: Oh fuck yeah!
OTW: Hahaha. I know. Everyone always waits for this question and we always save it for the end.
KB: Benny Sings… You know the song that goes like, "Loving is easy, you got me fucked up…"
OTW: Oh yeah!
KB: So that guy wrote that for Rex Orange County. He's gnarly. So my Ones To Watch are Benny Sings and dylAn. This guy, dylAn, is on Instagram. He's very talented. He's a really interesting rapper.
+ Catch Kid Bloom on ’The Lemonhead Tour' this fall!