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 June 7th.
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
is 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
Elected) 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.