New Music: Poolblood’s debut album, Mole, is a soothing blend of genres

The album explores the depths of human emotions

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Maryam Said sits against a white background looking to the side.
PHOTO: Jibril Yassin

By: Aditi Dwivedi, News Writer

Breaking through the symmetry of the traditional forms of music and storytelling, Toronto-based artist Poolblood just released their debut album, Mole, on January 13. An experimental blend of punk, folk, indie, and pop, Mole is a vibrant harmony of musicalities coming together to give life to Maryam Said’s voice and lyricism: an unending ode to love, loss, and self communion.  

Poolblood draws inspiration from the likes of Fiona Apple and Cat Stevens, striving to explore the depths of human vulnerabilities. A collection of nine tracks, Mole is a knotted thread of friendship, expression, and time, which reflects fickle yet necessary emotion in every taut strand.

Said’s tender voice hums, “I’ll look up at the sky / and see it smiling back at me” like a solemn lullaby in the opening track, “<3”. In “null” and “beam,” loud electric guitar distortions carry undertones of unease, struggle, and a gentle rebellion with lyrics like “whisper in my ear / I’ve lost my point of being here.” The unexpected beauty of cello, horns, and flute peppered across the album envelopes the melodies in the sombre warmth of the concluding track. All the elements merge into one sound and succeed in producing what Said describes: “noisy and dreamy, cloud music.” The album is carefully crafted to be placed outside the neatly packaged boxes of genres.

Mole depicts not only resolved feelings expressed in asymmetrical verse and rhythms, but also the very process of its creation; the spirit of backyard jamming, cozy recording sessions, and once scribbled lyrics.

Before I closed my eyes and opened my heart to Poolblood’s music, I envisioned a colour wheel capturing the gradual shift of warm to cold hues, ardently following the rules of colour theory. After listening to Mole, I could sense the spokes shifting, the warm and cold hues saturating, brightening, and narrowing in on the seldom represented yet stunning tints. 

The stories of life are rarely symmetrical. Poolblood’s Mole is a deeply personal attempt to capture the non-linearity of memories, recollection, and the struggles associated with loss and life. Proudly presented on an explosive spectrum of music, it calmly prods its listeners to come to terms with its complexity. Said’s Poolblood is on their way to slowly but surely establish a strong footing in the music industry.