Originating as the solo project of Ryan Smith, Hull’s bdrmm soon evolved into a full band with Jordan Smith (bass), Joe Vickers (guitar), Daniel Hull (synth, backing vocals) and Luke Irvin (drums) joining up to form a vibrant hybrid of shoegaze, synth pop and slacker rock.
After the EP, yucky, back in 2017, the band have released a number of singles, winning fans in some pretty high places in the process (with coverage from MTV and both BBC Radio 1 and 6Music). Finding kindred spirits in cult London label Sonic Cathedral, bdrmm are back with a brand song to be released both digitally and as a 7″ as part of the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club.
While previous bdrmm tracks have maintained a peppy tempo, ‘Question Mark’ slows things right down, unfurling in a 90s-inspired slow-burn smoulder. The band have always had a knack for crafting gauzy, synth-based pop, and the textures are no different here, though the decelerated pace and added acoustic elements offer a new view of the woozy soundscape. No longer are we cutting through the cloudy texture but submerged within its cool embrace.
Thematically, the song occupies an introspective territory, self-examination as a kind of slow epiphany that dawns across the length of the track. “Being told you’ve done something wrong and believing you’ve done something wrong are completely different things,” Ryan Smith explains. “‘Question Mark’ came from that realisation.”