All that glitters may not be gold, but shimmery, polished punk is a Go For Gold standard.
Marking their third single release since their 2020 EP, Color Me, the Arkansas-based outfit debuted “Bloom” on streaming services last week. However, if you’re like me and building up a brand new Spotify account to finally fix that algorithm damage you did in college, you might be a little behind on your release radar.
Well then, allow me to catch you up on this one.
As a preface, know that I don’t often go into any new track with an expectation of nuance. But even so, this one would have blown them clear out of the water. Without betraying my newfound obsession too much, let’s just say it’s ripe with brilliantly elegant catharsis. And I, like any good elder emo and scene revivalist, am a motherf—ing sucker for it.
I’m such a sucker, in fact, that I slammed that “Repeat” button for the first time since AFI dropped “Caught” (if you’re new here, that’s a big deal). Then I did it again, and again, and then I revisited their entire discography… And that wasn’t even in the name of research.
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That’s all to say that if there is a technical recipe for heavy-hearted alternative angst, Go For Gold has perfected it. “Bloom” finds a middle ground of intensity between tried-and-true pop punk hooks and the sort of raw, indie ethos you’d expect to find nestled in Deja Entendu. The restrained tempo and soft vocal deliveries pull focus to a twinkling melody, the cumulative effect of which is a logical, albeit completely unexpected, deviation from the far more anthemic—though just as compelling—style of “Step Out” and “At Home, Pt. 2.”
This stylistic approach isn’t completely new to them. In fact, if you vibe with the dripping sentimentality (if you’re human, you should), I encourage you to check out “Invincible” and “In the End” as well. But the track accomplishes one thing that so few successfully do in today’s context of limitless content—it commands attention. Enough to not only compel me, a poster human of attention deficiency, to push “Pause” on my chaotic listening habits and revisit a loosely-familiar catalog in its entirety, but to shift the whole thing into a brand new light as well.
That, my loves, is what we call a masterpiece.
Words, despite my best efforts, are sure to fall short in doing this one justice. Stream “Bloom” in its entirety—maybe once, maybe ten times—and watch the aptly gorgeous music video below.
Swimming in an ever-rising sea of 2000s emo nostalgia, music journalist Mala Mortensa only surfaces to dig into the depths of the modern alternative underground. Soundtracked by a neverending Spotify queue, she spends most of her free time perfecting heavy eyeliner looks, chilling with her two insane-o dogs, and anxiously waiting for the next AFI tour.