Founded and lead by Maddy Herbert, Velvet Bloom is a group of Melbourne-based creatives (Anthony Rennick, Nic Morton, Alex Marko, and Yara Alkurd) who have come together to celebrate the extraordinary world of jazz music.
“We were originally called BLOOM, but as our music began to mature, we felt the name change was quite necessary,” Herbert reveals about the early days of what Velvet Bloom is today. Anthony Rennick and Nic Morton — band’s bassist and drummer respectively — have known Herbert since high school and were the first members of the project when it just started to develop.
“Alex joined as we made the transition to Velvet Bloom and I feel that he was the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed to progress,” Herbert continues, introducing their lead guitarist, Alex Marko.
Though Yara Alkurd is the newest member of the band, Velvet Bloom wouldn’t be the same without her as Herbert describes their first interaction as an instant “soul connection” experience. “We just pulled her up on stage one night with no warning or rehearsal and the queen just smashed it,” she recalls.
Written and inspired by Velvet Bloom’s frontwoman Maddy Herbert’s personal experiences, their latest single ‘7Hundred25’ explores what it’s like to start losing someone you’re emotionally attached to.
“This track highlights that point of a relationship where things begin to fall apart — you’re not on the same page and it feels like your lives are headed in completely different directions,” Herbert explains. “‘7Hundred25’ is about accepting that notion and choosing yourself moving forward.”
“Although this song is one of our most seemingly simplistic, it has more layers than any other Velvet Bloom release,” Herbert says. “They tie in together because of the subject matter, vocals and overall lush, specific soundscapes.”
Herbert’s lyricism is indeed a combination of soulful storytelling and her desire to experiment with different material. “I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted this song to sound like but it was so nice being able to experiment and refine sounds of the instrumentation,” she says. “The E-Bow was such an imperative sound for this song — we wanted to incorporate some form of strings but when we heard Alex’s E-Bow with the track we were sold!”
Herbert then opens up about why songwriting is extremely important to her. “Having a creative outlet and being able to gauge my emotions through creating a song is so therapeutic,” she says. “Writing ‘7Hundred25’ helped me to centre myself in the midst of a break-up, I was able to come to a realisation and accept that the relationship wasn’t fulfilling me.”
Velvet Bloom is a captivating music project with talented creatives currently defining the neo-soul scene of Melbourne. Inspired by the legacy of artists like Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury and Aretha Franklin, the band is bringing life back to something that could’ve been lost otherwise.
“I love living in Melbourne because there is such a diverse variety of music,” Herbert admits. “Some underrated Melbourne artists who are also incredible people would be Gaia Scarf, Bumpy, Ed Moon, Lara Prokop, Lheon, Quin Grunden, Elaura and of course, Yara!”