Ten years ago, on the very first song on their very first album, Born Ruffians revealed their ambitions to start their own country. They didn’t really offer details about how they would go about legally annexing land, drafting a constitution or establishing a native currency, but we did know this much: it had a population of three-singer/guitarist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier and drummer Steve Hamelin. It would have a simple flag made up of the colors waved in the album’s title, Red, Yellow & Blue. And as that album vividly illustrated, their country was a primitive place marked by jagged terrain, rickety footbridges and sudden tremors. Its roughly sketched borders were defended by makeshift fences made of tangled guitar strings, broken drumsticks and-when all else failed-ravenous hoots ‘n’ hollers.
Blossom Hall started out as a side project between Nancy Paraskevopoulous (vocals, synth) and Phil Cotter (vocals, guitar). They’d written songs together for a year when they were offered a last-minute chance to perform at a high profile show at Southgate House Revival, even though they didn’t yet have a drummer to round out the group. Within a week of the show, Phil called Charlie Schefft to fill in on drums.