Artist Interview: Bloomsday

Posted: by The Editor

Photo by Gabi Rudin

Place to Land is the debut album of Brooklyn-based indie pop group which started in 2019 with Iris James Garrison and Alex Harwood. The 7-piece collection is short and quite sweet with songs that mimic a feeling of reconciliation, reemergence, and growth in whatever shape that takes and molds. To Garrison, a “place to land” is a means of trusting yourself as you move through the world. The nostalgia stems from an extremely personal subtlety, like remembering a friend’s scent when they hug you.

Songs follow Garrison’s experience with transitioning and beginning to identify as non-binary trans-masculine. And Place to Land, in its entirety, developed over Garrison’s first years in New York when they found their “place” both in the city, with others, and in their own body. “Any certainty I had beforehand had exploded and expanded into uncharted awareness of who I was, where I was and what felt like home,” they told me. “I remember trying to find homes in other people, tarot card readings, astrology, addiction, anything. I kept coming up against repeated mistakes and life lessons and couldn’t understand how to perceive change as anything but a setback.”

To Garrison, quarantine offered a measure of quiet when being alone at home in their own body. It made space to communicate and cope with an unnerving situation.“I’d sit on the roof of my tiny apartment and stare into the unknown, forced to release my grip on life,” they said. “While this was incredibly uncomfortable, that everything was completely beyond my control, I recognized my aversion to being alone. That I’d neglected the home at my center because it had been bruised and hurt.”

As a result, songs feel like small bursts of joy that simultaneously sprout from rediscovery. When I listen to Bloomsday, I think about a gradual re-appreciation of going to a cafe again. It’s a gift of small pleasure, sitting with a book and pairing a coffee and a croissant after the world pauses for an eternal minute. New beginnings always trace back to a point in life where things made sense, and while never the same, offer some stones of comfort for what comes next.

The other week, I attended Bloomsday’s release show at Mercury Lounge in the Lower East Side, supported by friends Babehoven and Doll Spirit Vessel. They subtly set up their instruments in a dim-lit room with a purple light over chatter, clinking beer glasses, and crunching water cups. When Bloomsday started, I turned to my friend and said, “It’s like someone just turned a volume knob back up. I love this.” And so they continued, diving in head first.

Place to Land is out now on Bayonet Records.

Jane Lai | @soldtogod3000

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