Their new EP '97 Blossom' features mood lifting songs written with Kevin Abstract and Matt Champion of Brockhampton
The Blossom has had a big year, despite all odds. One of the first artists signed to Video Store—Kevin Abstract and Romil Hemnani’s new, Los Angeles-based record label—The Blossom (a.k.a. Lily Lizotte) has stepped up to the plate, producing a nonstop stream of sticky singles and nostalgia-infused music videos, a merch collaboration with Nick Holiday, and installing warped, funhouse-style mirrors, The Blossom-branded, around Downtown LA.
These projects and releases have been a bright trail of breadcrumbs, each bringing us closer to, and hungrier for, The Blossom’s new EP, 97 BLOSSOM. But it’s no surprise that such a tumultuous year has also given way to creative growth for The Blossom—it was only a few years ago that I’d run into them, after some time spent on opposite coasts, at HAIR LA, both desperate to have Danny Moon do something different and no doubt highlighter-colored, to our hair. Though lime green extensions weren’t the only thing Lily Lizotte was changing—as we sat under the dryers, they told me about how they had left their label. Thus, over the next few months, however uncertain and fragile they were, I watched The Blossom grow.
With their new EP, we all get to know Lizotte a little better—because, as I can attest, this iteration of the artist is purely authentic. What you’ll hear is a super sensitive artist who is perpetually smiling, full of energy, swerving down Santa Monica Boulevard in their 1980’s Jaguar. The Blossom and I spent time talking about recording their new EP, their relationship with pronouns, and how they use colors to cope with anxiety.
The EP, executive produced by Brockhampton, is available April 6th, 2021.
Anna Zanes: You’ve had a lot of great people involved in the process of this new EP. What does the collaborative process look like?
Lily Lizotte: My community is so cool. Usually, I just write by myself, with my own stuff. But on the EP 97 Blossom, it was super collaborative writing. Kevin Abstract and another member of Brockhampton, Matt Champion, we wrote that together. And I wrote some of it with my dad— but I don’t ever have a top liner in the room, nobody says, ‘Okay, now we’re going to write for you.’
Anna: Did you ever write with Kevin, Matt, and your dad, all together?
Lily: Because my dad is in Australia, he would send guitar parts, and then we would have a session and call up the guitar parts that he’d written. Through all the guitar loops, he’d go, ‘Put your hands up and feel it. Put your hand up if you hear some part that you like.’ And we’d be like, ‘I like this one, I like this one.’ Then Romil, one of the producers from Brockhampton, would put our favorite on loop, and we’d write on it. We recorded some of that at the Brockhampton house, and then some of it at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Recording studio in Malibu. That’s how ‘Hardcore Happy’ came about.
Anna: That song is beyond good, by the way. Such a mood shifter.
Lily: That song is really about desiring and wanting to be happy, and how extreme and really hardcore that is, because it can be an awful, strenuous feeling. You’re never going to be happy that way. It’s about wanting validation, wishing to be likable, needed, to be this or that… So, it was the first single off the EP, which was out for under a week and had a quarter of a million streams. People really took to it, and they’re taking it into their community. I love that—take it! I don’t really care about you recognizing me, I just want you guys to have it. And I want these songs to live in context.
Anna: Is there a specific context you hope your songs exist in?
Lily: I want people to listen to it in their bedrooms. I want people to share it, send it to a friend that they feel needs it, or even realize they needed it themselves. Then it becomes their song, and they can hear themselves singing when I’m singing.
Anna: You’ve recently shared publicly, and even mentioned in your new music, your relationship with pronouns and gender. How does it feel to open up and identify as Non-binary in the context of big career moves and creative success?
Lily: With my pronouns, I feel like I can navigate spaces, myself, and my body. I can heal from what I’ve gone through, as far as what has happened in my life, and all the pain that my gender, my sexuality, trauma, and relationships carry. This is my way of surviving. I don’t expect people to assume that I go by they/them, or use they/them. I’m totally ‘female passing.’ People say, ‘Miss’ or she, but it’s really about the euphoria and freedom I feel when I hear they/them. It’s undeniable and incomparable to anything else. And I think about when [press] describes me as a ‘Non-binary artist’—that’s cool, but that also doesn’t define me. I am just myself before anything else.
Anna: I have a question about style. You seem to always have a color palette that you go to and stick to. I remember years ago, it was purple and green, but it looks like you’ve shifted over to blue and red now?
Lily: Yeah. There’s still some green, there’s still some purple. But what was entirely green and purple, has now been introduced to blue and red. So now I have blue, red, green, and purple. It’s the only colors I have in my closet.
Anna: Why is that?
Lily: Honestly, it’s a vessel for my control, my anxiety. I’m obsessed with patterns and repetition. You see that in songwriting, where you’re basically formulating patterns with sticky melodies. And then the language of words and sound come in to create a message. So I like using patterns to create messages. Colors for me, repetitively using colors, it’s an invigorating pattern as much as it’s calming. It’s weird.
Anna: What’s next for you?
Lily: The EP release has been so exciting, and everything around it. The video for the song ‘Shapeshifter’ came out, and next I have a video for, ‘Black Eye,’ both of which I directed. And then, I’m going to release more music! I’m not going to stop, I’m going to keep on putting it out there.