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Laurel spills retro-pop melodies and ‘80s-inspired synths into her most exciting project to date

"Petrol Bloom"

Release date: 03 December 2020
03 December 2020, 09:00 Written by Matthew Kent
On Petrol Bloom Arnell-Cullen is testing the waters and breaking out of her shell following a year of change and upheaval. The first of two EPs which will showcase a different side to the singer/songwriter, it’s laced with a new and inviting candied pop sweetness.

Since sharing early demos like “Next Time” and “Blue Blood”, London-based musician Laurel Arnell-Cullen has been consistent in her musical output. Across a handful of EPs and her brilliant debut album DOGVIOLET, her sound has centred around doom-laden songwriting and stark, atmospheric production, but this year things have changed.

Moving to LA, travelling across the American West and enlisting the help of producer Chrome Sparks have given her a new outlook. What once made her music cinematic and sepia is gone, instead, across Petrol Bloom we see her world is set alight into a blaze of nostalgic technicolour gloss. Incorporating bass-led grooves, shining synths and even the euphoric echoes of the cowbell, tracks like “Sometimes” and “Appetite” see Laurel comfortably stride forwards as she becomes increasingly familiar with her new surroundings.

Lead single “Scream Drive Faster” is the EP's skyscraping highlight, with the track even becoming her label’s most streamed of the year. Complete with an anthemic call to action to push forward through the darkness, it’s perfect for repeat listening when you want to quash any lingering 2020 demons. Upon its release it was a clear-cut, decisive shift for Laurel, but as the rest of the EP unfolds this progression into brighter full-bodied pop makes even more sense. An arresting re-introduction to an artist, who is now completely reinvigorated.

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