Subscribe to Forte Magazine


When looking through the artists that hit number one on the ARIA albums chart in 2013, there’s one name that stands out from your Pinks, Michael Bublés and Katy Perrys. It’s not just because they’re the only act on the list with an umlaut in their band name, but also on account of their forward-thinking, innovative take on alternative dance. That and the fact they were – and, indeed, still are – a primarily independent act. The #1 spot for RÜFÜS’ debut LP Atlas was just the start of a considerable ascension to sold out Australian theatre tours, global interest and a spell of touring that seemed nigh on endless. So much so, that they needed to get as far away as possible in order to begin the next chapter.

We set up in Berlin and just wrote constantly for two months straight,” says lead vocalist, lyricist, guitarist and keyboardist Tyrone Lindqvist. “We were just living, writing and demoing stuff on our laptops out of this Airbnb place that we found. That was so fun for us – at that time, we’d just come off a year-and-a-half’s worth of touring, and that whole time we didn’t ever have the time to properly think over what we wanted to do or the kind of music we wanted to write after we moved on from Atlas. We were hungry to start having fun, and those two months really got the ball rolling again for us – we returned home and just kept writing for something like eight more months. We tried a lot of stuff, and of course it didn’t all work – some of it was just terrible – but we were doing new things. It felt exciting.”

The end result, after over 18 months in the making, is Bloom. The album was preceded by a string of high rotation singles in 2015. Furthermore, Lindqvist says there is more to Bloom that meets the eye – even if purely from a developmental standpoint.

Going into the process, I don’t think we were very conscious about making it sound different to Atlas. I mean, it’s definitely different, but we weren’t going out of our way to make sure of that. I think the geography of each album plays into it a lot – Atlas was primarily written near a beach, while Bloom started indoors in Berlin. I think the major thing that was inspiring what we were doing on this album, though, was music that was around at the time that was exciting to us.”

It’s safe to say RÜFÜS have created something a lot of their peers will look to as inspirational for several summers to come. It’s a constantly-shifting and at-times challenging album; one that both solidifies the RÜFÜS sound and yet adds further ambiguity to what their identity entails. During the year of writing that shaped Bloom, the trio found themselves striving for very different things. As a result, the album came to be re-modelled and refined into what you will soon see before you.

We were talking a lot about Moby, The Avalanches… stuff that used a lot of samples and songs that felt timeless because of the samples that were used,” says Lindqvist. “It was something we had in mind when we started writing, but everything we tried just didn’t seem to work the way that we were hoping it would. It wasn’t long after we put that on the backburner that we started really getting back into techno. We were thinking Bloom was going to be a techno record. I suppose at different intervals of the writing process we had these pretty major wake-up moments. You’re so set on what you think the record is going to be, and then something will come along and make you reconsider everything you’ve been working on.”

A straight-up defiance of difficult second album syndrome, Bloom is destined to do big things both here and internationally – where their profile is exponentially expanding, particularly in the States, where they perform under the moniker of RÜFÜS DU SOL for legal reasons. Fittingly enough, it’s over in America where our story ends, as Lindqvist shares an experience that cemented his belief in Bloom as an album once and for all.

I remember we were on tour in the States. We were driving from Detroit through to Chicago. We drove through a blizzard, and our driver was saying that we’d have to stock up on beef jerky. ‘We’re gonna get snowed in, man,’ he kept saying. Just before we started the drive, we had gotten the masters back for Bloom, and so we listened to the album in its entirety while we were driving through the snow. I was so proud and I was so excited by what I was hearing – and it’s rare for me to genuinely feel that. It was a record that we all agreed couldn’t be categorised into a single idea or a single genre – it’s something only we could have made, and that was a really nice feeling to have.”
Written by David James Young

Release: Bloom is out now at all good retailers