“I got what you want,” Kid Bloom writes. It’s a deceptively cocky beginning to a song that feels much, much deeper. The LA-based singer-songwriter brims with coolness and confidence, but his latest single “Like I Never Left” is much more egalitarian than it may seem. It’s a love song about the push-and-pull dynamics of an unsteady relationship: introspective, garrulous, perhaps a tad needy—and, of course, enhanced by a catchy, atmospheric, synthetic beat.
It’s easy to be enchanted by Kid Bloom’s singing. He’s both close and distant—far away when he’s reminiscing during the song’s intro and bridge, but intimate during the chorus. You feel like you’ve transported into an argument or discussion that spans several weeks rather than minutes. How long, you think, has this relationship lasted? Is it nearing its end, or is it ready to take its next step. There’s a cunning ambiguity in Kid Bloom’s lyrics. Interpretation, perhaps, is dependent on the listener’s mood.
Whatever their argument is about, it’s clear that Kid Bloom isn’t quite winning. For every assertion of his own power, he makes a concession to his partner. “Every time I give up,” he sings, “you give in.” The powerhouse dynamic alternates constantly. Even the song’s signature line, “It’s like I never left”, is up for interpretation. At first it seems like Kid Bloom is asserting his own level of control—as if his role is so important that all other feelings are irrelevant until he returns to the relationship. But to me, it sounds more of an admission of dependence. When he’s gone, everything else is unimportant because he can only think about his partners. He’s the one who is the slave to the idea of love. Suddenly, the confidence becomes meek, thoughtful, pleading. And the song is made stronger because of it.
The more it goes on, the more “Like I Never Left” becomes about Kid Bloom’s partner—you, the audience—than about Kid Bloom himself. “Don’t rush into it / Take your time with it”, he sings to us. And later: “Show yourself / Know yourself.” I don’t think the audience of a love song has ever been granted so much autonomy. It’s a fascinating dynamic and a welcome change.
The music itself is moody and atmospheric; electric drumbeats and synthesizers lend some intensity to the mood, but Kid Bloom’s breathy voice keeps everything dreamy. The beats rise and fall like lava lamp bubbles. And when the song pauses before its chorus, it makes you want to hold your breath in anticipation. You feel like you’re about to wake up from the dream. And then—it hits you.
There’s never a shortage of dreamy, synthetic love songs, but “Like I Never Left” hits differently. It’s not just fun; it’s contemplative. Hidden beneath the usual tropes is a refreshing honesty—the kind of introspection we only experience in our deepest of sleeps. “Yeah, I’m older now,” he sings. “Still I don’t know how.”
Agreed, Kid Bloom. Agreed.
Written By Alex Figueiredo