The Bloomvilles – long-awaited launch of honest music

COVID-19 restrictions have been the bane of every musician’s existence for the past two years, but at last, Sydney-Geelong duo The Bloomvilles will launch their self-titled album this weekend.

The album was recorded in isolation during 2020 between Geelong and Sydney, produced in Natte Yallock in rural Victoria by  Jack Jones and mixed by Reggie Bowman; both from Southern Sons.

The duo of Melinda Jackson and Joseph Calderazzo have been playing gigs together for many years in Sydney before they formed The Bloomvilles.

When they began to record their debut album, Melinda and Joseph were both living in Sydney, but halfway through recording, Joseph moved and then COVID-19 restrictions hit and the process became a little more challenging.

Even with the challenges of distance, Joseph said he loved that he was more relaxed making this album.

“I loved that I didn’t feel the same pressure that you feel in the studio and I could do my parts whenever I wanted, I tracked them however I wanted to and I could do as many takes as I needed,” he said.

“I got to try ideas at home and I found that to be really good.”

Melinda had the extra challenge of having her eight-year-old son running around while recording her vocals.

“I do a lot of work from home, but I never expected my vocal that I recorded at home to be the one that appeared on the album,” she laughed.

“My eight year old is running around and I’m recording vocals. I’ve done quite a bit of session work from home, so I didn’t mind working from home, but the good part of making the record under these circumstances was that it was all we had to focus on in the first wave of COVID, other than our families. We felt like we were doing something, at a time when you could really get yourself in a place where you’re feeling low, so that kept us going creatively and emotionally.”

Both coming from diverse musical backgrounds that have included Melinda fronting Rogue Traders, and Joseph being Jenny Morris’ longtime guitarist, they said they’d both liked the alt-country and Americana sound for years.

“Whenever Mel and I got together in Sydney – where I was working with a bunch of different vocalists and Mel was working with different guitarists – but when we got together, this sound came organically and was created through us doing all those acoustic duo gigs and we pushed each other even further into that sound,” Joseph said.

Melinda said she wanted to release organic-sounding music.

“For me, it’s always been in the back of my mind that over the last decade of writing music, I’ve had this burning feeling that I need to put out this type of music, and this sound really resonated with where I’ve come from,” she said.

“It’s just the perfect time in our lives where we’re at as humans that it was time to strip everything back and just write some tunes and record it like that.”

They both agreed that their biggest goal was to “make honest music”.

For those asking where The Bloomvilles’ name came from, the two artists made it up.

“We had a different name to start with, but we made this one up,” Joseph said.

Melinda added that when they came up with it, it felt right.

“We were pretty fortunate that it wasn’t taken,” she said.

They’ve already started writing for their next recording project, so we’re sure to hear more from this organic, honest and talented duo who have a special way with words that weave their way into your mind and will have you singing them long after you’ve played the last song on the album.

“Making this album was about people hearing things that they might be able to resonate with and hearing songs they can relate to,” Melinda said.

“There are so many different stories in there, and people can sit there and realise they’re not alone and they can connect with those songs and stories.”

Joseph agreed, adding that if it was healing and cathartic for people, then that would be a great achievement for the duo.

This weekend, Saturday, February 12, The Bloomvilles will finally launch their album at Jimmy Hornet in Richmond, Victoria, and then have a Sydney launch on March 1 at Butchers Brew.

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