Leeds band Fizzy Blood return with debut album Pam Am Blues and 2022 tour
When Leeds band Fizzy Blood decided to take a short break from recording, five years between records wasn’t exactly what they had envisioned.
But now the band is back with their album Pan Am Blues and a completely brand new sound.
The band formed back in 2014 after meeting at Leeds College of Music and soon became a mainstay in the city's music scene.
During that time the band released three EPs, Feast (2015), Summer of Luv (2017) and Pink Magic (2018).
Previously known and loved for their indie/alternative music, their debut album Pan Am Blues is a big jump away for the five-piece band.
Recorded over three years in various locations around the UK, Pan Am Blues touches on a myriad of themes and musical influences; dystopian modern life, familiarity and comfort in nostalgia, soul-searching, isolation and sees them adopt a fresh contemporary sound fusing Bedroom Pop, Indie Rock, new-wave R&B and Soul.
Guitarist and vocalist Paul Howells said the challenge and excitement of trying something different was the creative spark that brought the band back together.
Paul said: “I think one of the hardest things to come to terms with whilst making this record is that we had an idea of how things were going to go down on our path as a band and as people, and it didn’t go that way.
“We got to a point a few years ago where we were ready to split up and we had a bit of time apart.
“I started coming up with some songs that didn't sound anything like we’d done before.
“I didn't know what I would do with the songs but we're all close friends so I showed the guys what I was working on.
"I didn't expect them to like it but they were really into it so it got our creative juices going again”.
He added: “It's definitely [a sound] I've been into for a long time.
“Lots of people are probably gonna have different takes on it. To me, it's the classic sounds of the 60s and 70s soul and pop music like The Beach Boys, meets modern pop music, New Wave and R&B, so sort of like Frank Ocean and Post Malone.
“We’d done the kind of music that we'd done before, and people seemed to like it, but we started to grow out of it a little bit and our tastes all went down different paths.
“We took the break as an opportunity to say, why don't we do something different?”
Not content with just a change in musical direction, the band have also turned their hand to film production too, creating a retro-futuristic thriller series of the same name to be released on the band's YouTube.
The Pam Am Blues production was created in collaboration with the White brothers of 10 Days Productions and showcases talent from up and coming actors Sydney Craven (Eastenders), Robbie O'Neill (Boiling Point, Little Boy Blue) & Jessica Barker-Wren (Dumbo).
Paul said: “Part of being fully independent as a band means that we can make a lot of decisions or take some risks creatively that we wouldn't normally be able to take if we were being funded by a label.
“We're all big fans of cinema and we've got lots of friends who are very talented in that world and we thought it'd be great to just do things that people can immerse themselves into.”
Drummer Jake Greenway added: “You only get to do your first album once so we’ve taken some time to get it right, with that we decided we wanted to achieve something more than just music videos for the album’s visuals
“Having spent countless hours in the back of vans rattling down motorways we’ve all watched a lot of tv and films together and have fallen in love with the millions of ways you can tell a story.
“Visuals are hugely important, I obsess over the cinematography, the colour palette, the dress choices and how that all fits together to portray an artistic vision.
“We wanted to give ourselves the chance to do that, to give the album another dynamic. We also wanted to offer people the opportunity to understand and consume the record in a different way.”
The first episode is out now and the band watched the premiere live with their fans on Twitch.
Paul said: “It was great. It was the first time we'd done something like that. Twitch didn't exist before so it's a new way of engaging with our fans. It was like hanging out with mates.
“Doing the video is maybe one of the reasons why it's taken us four years to finish the record but it's always good to challenge yourself.
“It keeps it fresh and exciting. If we weren't doing things that made us excited, what would be the point in doing it at all? It's been a whirlwind but it’s been great.”
Pan Am Blues is set for release on 22 April 2022 and will be followed by a tour starting at Manchester’s Deaf Institute on May 1. The tour will come to The Brudenell on May 4.
Paul said: “We're going to be going back at our spiritual home of The Brudenell which is very nice.
“The Brudenell I would say is our favourite Leeds venue. You get different vibes at different places and when you're in a small little sweatbox, it's brilliant and you can get a lot more atmosphere where you're not separated from the crowd.”
Paul said: “It was nice to see so many people come out and seem to have not forgotten us.
“We played a lot of new songs which was nice to get off my chest but equally we got a good reaction for the older ones.
“It was quite cool because as we walked around the city to check out other bands, we'd see lots of people in Fizzy Blood shirts and people coming up asking to speak to us and for photos.
“After such a long time, it was kind of surreal, because it's like stepping into a time machine, almost like no time had passed at all.”
Current singles Complementary and Ka Palaho Beac are out now.
Pam Am Blues is available to pre-order now on the band’s website and tickets for the 2022 tour are also out now. www.fizzyblood.co.uk