Los Angeles-based Mike
Bloom is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is
co-founder of The Elected with Blake Sennett of Rilo Kiley and
a member of Julian Casablancas’ band. After years of contributing
to critically acclaimed recordings by Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis
and others, his debut solo album King of Circles will be released
All of the songs were written, most instruments played, and every
song produced and mixed by Mike (with the exception of a few co-productions).
His songwriting is at once uniquely his own, and curiously familiar.
The warm, bedroom intimacy draws listeners in - there
a wealth of instrumentation and sonic detail augmenting the vocal/acoustic
guitar centerpiece. King of Circles was originally funded by actor
Tobey Maguire before landing at de Reeder’s new label.
Songs with more than a little in common with the canon of Carson
McCullers abound on King of Circles. The scornful woman in “Floataway
Sinner” extracts revenge on her hapless victim, saying “Hold
on baby, don’t you float away sinner, Gonna pay for your acts,
and that’s all” – her closing shot reveals a moral
compass off course when she explains, “…us long shots
ain’t supposed to win clean”. “Butcher Paper”
started life as a guitar piece he recorded – when Jenny Lewis
heard it she whipped out a set of lyrics and recorded it over Mike’s
playing and sent it back to him. An evocative love song with starkly
vivid lyrics resulted with this refrain, “Wrapped in twine,
the butcher’s paper, my bloody heart inside”. Longtime
friend/bandmate Blake Sennett (Rilo Kiley, The
contributes vocals on “Til It’s Over” (The Elected
have an album coming out in May as well, Mike co-produced and plays
a multitude of instruments) The title track addresses emotional
ambiguity as a form of revenge; “Dry Land” paints the
picture of a long marriage at its expiration date with gentle acoustic
guitar and Bloom’s lyric, “…this is the empty
glass at the party’s end.” “Devil’s Island”
can be heard in the new Sony Pictures thriller, The Roommate.
With his packed schedule touring and doing recording sessions, the
songs were written and recorded over a period of years. “Some
came directly from my bedroom demos and landed on the record almost
untouched,” he explains “Some are much older than others,
but they still felt like they belonged here.” Touring in the
US and Europe, he honed the songs the old fashioned way, in front
of live audiences.