Icon for Hire is set to release its latest album, Amorphous, on Feb 19, 2021. The band which formed in 2007 in Decatur, Illinois is comprised of vocalist Ariel Bloomer and guitarist / keyboardist Shawn Jump.Â Icon for Hire is a band which blends hard rock, hip-hop, electronica, and pop. For Amorphous,Â the band worked with Grammy Nominated engineerÂ Romesh DodangodaÂ who has previously worked with artists including Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet for My Valentine, Motorhead, Don Broco, Busted,Â andÂ Kids in Glass Houses.Â Â
âWe hope it inspires listeners to feel the power of their own strength” – Ariel Bloomer
Amorphous is the bandâs fourth album. They previously released Scripted (2011), Icon for Hire (2013), and You Canât Kill Us (2016). In 2015, the band split from their record label, Tooth & Nail Records, to gain more freedom over their music. The last two albums were self-released with funding provided by fans via Kickstarter campaigns. Amorphous raised over $200,000 from fan support, while You Canât Kill Us raised $127,000.
If there is one word I would use to describe Icon for Hire, it would be âmessageâ because thatâs what this band is all about. Their music is all about putting out a message. Reaching out to individuals struggling with issues like mental problems, addictions, abuse, depression, and low self-esteem. Amorphous is about defiance, not giving in, taking control and fighting for yourself. “Brittle” opens the album with this theme. Bloomer sings about being different and not fitting in a box, being confined by those four sides of how others believe you should behave; getting labeled as damaged and difficult for not conforming like others. It’s about battling through all this. You may suffer scars along the way, and may exbibit some cracks but you remain strong.
The albums second track is “Curse or Cure“. This was the first single which was released in September. It was the song that grabbed my attention and was my first introduction to the band. We live in a society where weakness is a sin, where everyone is to blame for their own problems.Â If you are out of work, then you are not trying hard enough. If you have a problem with addiction, then you are weak for not being able to control it. Suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts means you are mentally disturbed. “Curse or Cure” reaches out to these individuals. Speaking about the song, singer Ariel Bloomer says,Â âSociety often tells people with mental health issues that we are the problem, but then also expects us to be able to fix ourselves. If I am whatâs broken, how can I also possibly solve myself from the inside?âÂ Â
It can be easy to get involved in a relationship where the other person isn’t satisficed with their life. âWaste My Hateâ is about not letting someone else drag you down and pushing their problems off on you. ââWaste My Hateâ was born from a feeling of unrest- itâs a reminder to stand your ground, fightÂ forÂ what you believe in, and not get sucked into the bullshit along the way,â says Ariel.Â âMusically, Shawn had fun creating the catchy blues guitar lickÂ forÂ the base of the track, which we coupled with a punchy guitar solo as well as a sing along chorus. Itâs a fun, defiant fight song that we hope helps ward off some of the negativity that the world has been feeling as of late!â
In the song âSeedsâ, Bloomer uses planting seeds as a metaphor for sparking the growth of a cause. If you push a people down like seeds in the earth you may think you are suppressing them, but all you are doing is planting the seeds for a movement that will rise from the earth and spread like wildflowers across the land.Â You can only push people down for so long before they start to fight back.
Ariel Bloomer calls âLast One Standingâ a song with âan empowering anthem aboutÂ fightingÂ forÂ what you believe in, defying cultureâs rules, and going your own way. She adds âWe hope it inspires listeners to feel theÂ powerÂ ofÂ theirÂ ownÂ strength. The song also speaks to the untraditional path that weâve taken as artists, howÂ even as weâve gone an unconventional route, we know this is where weÂ belong- and weâre not going anywhere.âÂ
Icon for Hire breaks the mold for most rock bands.Â While other bands work toward signing with a major record label, Ariel Bloomer and Shawn Jump thrive on being independent.Â This empowers them to explore their creativity as they see fit and to chart their own course.Â The band uses their influence to bring awareness to issues affecting society.Â Bloomer has said that she writes for her 14-year-old self.Â As such, her target audience is typically younger females. However, she has managed to attract males along the way as well because the issues she writes and sings about impact people regardless of age or gender.
If itâs not apparent by now, my focus for this review was not Ariel Bloomerâs powerful vocals or Jumps guitar playing and musical composition because to me these are just the bait to lure the listeners to the real treasure, the lyrics which deliver the message.Â There are plenty of great sounding bands that once you strip away the vocals and music you realize there is absolutely nothing else there. Â This is where Bloomer stands out, writing for a purpose.Â These are not songs for the alpha-males.Â Itâs for those low in spirit that are looking for hope and re-enforcement. Those that are alone and isolated and who do not fit in. Â Amorphous delivers the message that itâs okay to be different, that you can be yourself. All the fans who contributed to making this album possible should be very pleased with the results.
- Brittle (Prelude)
- Curse or Cure
- Panic Attacks
- Thirteen (Interlude)
- Background Sad
- Last One Standing
- Waste My Hate
- Impossible & Obstacles (Interlude)
- Sticks and Stones
- Only Be A Story
What is your favorite Icon for Hire Song? Comment below.
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