THE BLSSM manipulated genre and emotion to create their ‘PURE ENERGY’ EP
If there’s one thing Lily Lizotte loves more than making fantastic pop music, it’s a good double meaning.
Planted in nearly every song by THE BLSSM — the 24-year-old’s self-described blissful pop project — is a feeling of both happiness and sadness, competing with each other through lyrics that mean one thing and a chorus that sounds like it means something else entirely. It’s hard to tell what you’re supposed to feel when listening to THE BLSSM, but Lizotte isn’t too focused on that. They’re just hopeful that you do feel.
“I want [my music] to make sense to them in whichever shape or form, and that’s really important to me, that it means something to them, whatever that might mean,” Lizotte says. “I’m not too concerned with how they interpret it, as long as it makes them feel something. That’s really all I want.”
One year removed from their debut EP, 97 BLOSSOM, Lizotte returns in April with their follow-up PURE ENERGY, which marks THE BLSSM’s first release under Fueled By Ramen. The label backing doesn’t change too much for Lizotte, who resides in Los Angeles by way of Australia, as it really only signifies some extra helping hands believing in their vision. But now the project has just enough energy (pure energy, at that) to bloom into what Lizotte has always dreamed of.
What’s the first thing you want a new listener to know about THE BLSSM?
This project is a hyperextension of my personality. It really is just like an amalgamation of all my influences and things that I love. It’s a pop project. It’s what I define as pop, to me. And it is really genreless to me. It’s really just my inspiration and the energy that I feel from all of my influences.
I do want to congratulate you on the Fueled By Ramen signing before we get to anything else. Where were you when you found out the news, and do you remember that initial reaction?
I really felt like they understood my project and I understood their ethos, and vice versa. So it felt really natural and organic. There was no thought of, “OK, this is the big moment.” I just kept on working and kept on recording. Obviously, this is an accolade to feel good about. I think as an artist, you think, “OK, I’ve got some resources behind me. I can build.” For me, the most exciting thing was just having more people on the team to be able to continue to build my vision and continue to build around me. So it really just felt like extending my community, which sounds wholesome, but it’s just what it felt like because it doesn’t really change anything as far as my expectations or my perception of the project. It really just extends the community.
With the label announcement came the news of you shortening your moniker from the Blossom to THE BLSSM. Now you’re vowel-less. Can you talk to me about this decision?
I wanted to keep my name because it really feels like an embodiment of my project. It really does feel like me. But I wanted to shorten it a bit because I love the word “bliss.” And you could read it as “bliss-im.” There’s something about taking out the Os that makes it a bit more abstract. I don’t really give a fuck about the correctness of language. To me, it looks cool. So I don’t care. I just like destroying something to suit me.
Your first single for the EP, “DIZZY,” arrived after some TikTok promotion. This was also a favorite on tour, too. Do those in-person reactions confirm anything for you about the music after all this time having to be super online?
Any sort of visceral reaction from anybody, I’m super hyped. [Especially] if you’re gonna hit me up and be like, “Yo, what is this song? Like, where can I hear it?” There’s so much stuff online. Online is so crowded and so overstimulated and so much saturation of stuff. I get so hyped if someone hits me up asking me about “DIZZY.” I played it in my live set, and that speaks volumes to me of someone going home and thinking about that song. It feels good when anything means something to somebody.
You’ve spoken in the past about the juxtaposition of your songs — where sometimes the melody or the sound of the song itself won’t align with the lyrics. Does “DIZZY” fall into that category?
“DIZZY” sounds like I’m singing about a significant other, like a breakup song, but it’s really just about my anxiety. I love to use nursery rhyme-type hypermelodic choruses paired with a little bit more visceral, grittier lyrics. Everyone’s like, “Oh yeah, this is my breakup.” No, it’s about my anxiety, but I love to have that double meaning. It can mean anything for anybody. I’m pretty attracted to that “happy, sad, happy, sad” [pattern]. And a lot of the feedback that I get from my community, my fans, is that a BLSSM song will make you feel everything at once.
Why PURE ENERGY? What does that title represent?
I feel everybody speaks about my project, and the conversation around my project is like, “The energy is really unique.” I also agree with that in a way — sometimes I don’t see my project as [myself being] the center of the project. Where it’s about “me, me, me.” It’s like a hyperextended version of me. I feel like, energetically, that doesn’t mean, “Boom, so much energy.” I’m very manipulative with my emotions when I’m writing. And [with] sound, I don’t think in genre, but more the energy of a song. So, it sounds really like “spirits” or “energy,” but it’s not. I’m just a little ball of energy. I feel like this EP is a real definition of who I am and where I’m at in my life right now. And I try to think with less boundaries and more feeling, and that’s what energy is to me.
If there’s one feeling you want a fan to take away from your output this year, what do you want that feeling to be?
That they can be themselves. That they should be themselves. And that being yourself gets you everything you ever needed.
SONG RECOMMENDATION: “DIZZY”
This feature appeared in issue 405, available here.