On your first listen of “Breathe,” the debut single from Nashville’s Vera Bloom, your ears may deceive you into thinking you know this artist. After all, there’s plenty of grunge influences to remind you of Nirvana or Veruca Salt, but tempered by a smoothness suggestive of Skating Polly. There’s also power vocals that kick into full throttle about mid-song that are paired with charged guitar riffs leading to flashbacks to when Joan Jett rocked our radios. And then there’s the modern-smart introspection in the lyrics and crisp production that will have you sure that Bloom must already be somewhere on your playlist. However, you’ll quickly realize that the sum of all these parts adds up to a distinct sound from a new artist ready to take on the rock scene.
A project of singer/songwriter AnneMarie Kelbon, the name Vera Bloom is fittingly derived from the Latin word “vera”, meaning “truth”, and “bloom” referring to the blossoming of something profound and new. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, Bloom has a thorough education in grunge and alternative rock that dominates the track. However, she has a vocal clarity and a lyrical maturity that instantly makes her stand out in the genre.
Bloom doesn’t simply rely on the song’s head-nodding drumbeat, anthemic chorus, and rich alternative rock guitar hooks to carry it. “My main goal as a songwriter [is] to translate a specific feeling … I think anyone that’s felt out of control in any capacity can relate to the lyrics,” Bloom says of the song. “It’s a genuine account of something profound that happened to me.” Following a panic attack, Bloom wrote “Breathe” to capture the feeling of being caged by her thoughts and the struggle to focus and continue forwards.
“Breathe” is not just a quality rock song—it is a personal reflection of the artist’s battle with anxiety, presented with a confidence that connects to the listener as a reminder that no matter the struggle, you are not alone.
Without further ado, East of 8th proudly presents “Breathe” from Vera Bloom. You can listen to the song on the SoundCloud below. You can also pre-order her self-titled EP here.