For a few years now, Blossom's soulful, warm and supple voice has become a force of its own—the Portland singer can make the hairs on your neck stand up with just one note. Blossom, born Keisha Chiddick, certainly has a hefty familial framework to support her natural talent. Chiddick was born in Trinidad and Tobago, where the steel drum band that she played in with her family instilled an appreciation of musical eclecticism.
Her fluid sense of genre is present on every single she's released. But with her long-awaited debut record, Maybe, she shares an even deeper command of her multidimensional songwriting. Chiddick's album weaves through classic '90s R&B rhythms and chill, relaxed beats. Maybe is about much more than its genre lineage, though—it's like a compact memoir, driven by its lyrical content.
An audio clip of one of Chiddick's young relatives opens the album with a sweet, angelic spirit. Once we get to her own voice on "Career Suicide," the album's second track, we're introduced to a snippet of her reality. She sings like she's telling us her story—she's lyrically conversational, insightful and open. Quite a few tracks on Maybe mention late-night mistakes and Chiddick's unapologetic personality. On "Career Suicide," Blossom speaks of how materiality can mess with your sense of self. On "LaDiDa" and "Glitch," she sings about falling for bad boys, who come up again on her short, silkily smooth "More Than." With a heavily lo-fi, nighttime beat, Blossom coos about the ever-prevalent booty call and hookup text, and questions whether lust is worthwhile.
There are two tracks that offer a deeper dive into Chiddick as a person, though. "Moi a Moi" is like a dialogue with herself about life choices, and how they may not always be beneficial. The synthy, percussive tones that build in the track don't distract from the deep reflection. If anything, it elevates the song's dynamism. Similarly, album closer "Suul" sees Chiddick coming to terms and accepting herself. It's an effective ending—almost a summation of the bumps in her road of self-discovery.
By the end of the album, it seems like Blossom has decided to stop asking the "maybe" of herself. Her grasp of soulful music has long been established. But on Maybe, we get to see it put to work as divulging her coming of age, and the fulfillment she's gained from that journey.
SEE IT: Blossom plays Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., pcs.org, with Butter Baby, DJ Dubblife, Fountaine, KayelaJ and Bocha, on Monday, June 10. 7 pm. $15-$35. All ages.