Week 267: “I Bloom Blaum” by Coldplay


The term “b-side,” doesn’t even really mean anything anymore; it’s a linguistic relic of an old format. But it’s the idea of a b-side that still holds a certain appeal.

It’s the idea that this song didn’t quite make it on the album. Why? Did the label not like it? Did it not fit with the other tracks on the album? Was there disagreement within the band? You end up intrigued, even feeling sorry for the song that never got the chance to shine.

For the music nerd, there aren’t many things more exciting than discovering a rare song by one of your favourite bands. And back when Coldplay was taking the world by storm, I sought out every rarity I could find. This one is a cast-off from their second album, and for my money, it’s the best of their many b-sides.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The opening chord is in the Lydian mode, meaning that the fourth of the scale is augmented by a semitone. This gives it a serene yet slightly uneasy feeling.

2. It’s short. Maybe the brevity was the reason it was left off the album. But for me, it’s like a little musical Haiku; it’s too short to really have a verse-chorus structure, but it still feels like a complete thought.

3. In my opinion, Coldplay were at their best when they kept things simple; no complex instrumentation or anthem-ready layered vocals, just the simple, thoughtful, “I love you, I’m sad, and I have a guitar” type of stuff .

Recommended listening activity:

Browsing a second-hand store.

Buy it here.