Bloom - EP

Bloom - EP

In the years since its release, The Band Perry’s massive 2010 hit “If I Die Young” has become a pillar of contemporary country music, spawning countless covers and serving as a touchpoint for a new generation of artists interested in rich, narrative songwriting. It’s fitting, then, that “If I Die Young” songwriter Kimberly Perry would open her debut solo project with a continuation of the song that launched her career. “If I Die Young, Pt. 2” may lack the from-left-field surprise of its predecessor, but in picking up where she left off, Perry connects the dots between the youthful idealism of the original and the real-life lessons she’s learned in the intervening 13 years. That full-circle realization becomes something of a prelude to the rest of Bloom, which reintroduces Perry to a new generation of country fans. Produced by Jimmy Robbins (Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris), Bloom doesn’t sonically stray too far from the melodic pop-country that initially hooked fans on the trio, but it does broaden Perry’s narrative perspective in a manner fitting of its title. “Cry at Your Funeral” and “Burn the House Down” both feature ideas of rebirth and starting over, while “Smoke ’Em Too” is a reclamation of Perry’s complexity (and a bit PG-13 compared to the trio’s generally wholesome output), with Perry singing, “I wanna be married, I wanna be a mama/But stay young forever, green like marijuana.” And standout “Ghosts” is a spiritual inverse of the 2012 Band Perry murder-ish ballad “Better Dig Two,” with Perry promising, “I’ll love you when we’re ghosts.”

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