Flowerbomb, courtesy of the band's Facebook

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Indie rock band Flowerbomb were not at the Wammie Awards ceremony on April 1 when they won Best Rock Artist/Group. Instead, they were in Baltimore gearing up for their performance at the comedy club Downsquares. Even though they wanted to attend the ceremony, Flowerbomb have never canceled a show.

Drummer Dan ABH recalls stepping out of the Baltimore venue that night to strong winds. The man working the door asked ABH to buy him a pack of cigarettes. He bought two packs, and after handing one to the man at the door, ABH received a text: Flowerbomb had just become a Wammie Awards winner. ABH ran into the venue where the rest of the band was setting up their equipment. They were thrilled by the news.

“I just said, ‘We won best rock band band,’ and then everybody was hyped,” ABH tells City Paper. “I think we were dancing—well, I was dancing at least—and I think it helped us play the show even better because now we were like, ‘We just won best rock band, so freaking prove it.’”

Flowerbomb are clearly making strides in the D.C. music scene. The Wammie Awards celebrate artists and musicians based in the DMV. Now the just-crowned Best Rock Artist/Group are planning to follow up their recent attention with a performance at the Pocket on Thursday, April 20, and a new album that is currently in the works. And as they evolve, they aren’t going unnoticed.

“We’ve had a massive amount of changes over the past two years and to be recognized as ‘best rock band’ is really validating,” ABH says. “We feel humbled to have been nominated out of all the incredible local rock bands and win.”

Originating in Alexandria, Flowerbomb have been in the music scene for years. Despite forming back in 2017, the band grew significantly following the start of the pandemic. They didn’t release their first album, Pretty Dark, until 2020 and the current four-piece lineup, consisting of singer Rachel Kline, ABH, guitarist Connor White, and bassist Abby Rasheed, wasn’t cemented until the fall of 2022. Still, this was not their first Wammie win. In 2021, Flowerbomb took home Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song, and they were invited to perform at last year’s awards ceremony.

Flowerbomb are known for their unique style of music that falls in line with the indie rock genre while incorporating different subgenres elements such as emo, post-punk, and shoegaze. ABH says the best way he can describe Flowerbomb’s music is “lush and dynamic,” which can be seen in how the band manages to balance the ethereal sounds of shoegaze with the dynamic and upfront rock beat of its drums. But as they experiment further with new music, they’re exploring other genres, including dream pop. But what really makes Flowerbomb’s music stand out among other rock artists is their seamless incorporation of different styles. “Genre blending is something we do really well,” says ABH. “Our music is approachable.”

“Even though we have so many different genres happening in our music, it’s cohesive and every song feels like a Flowerbomb song,” Kline adds.

Their live performances also make the band stand out. Aside from their unique sound, the foursomes exude chemistry despite the fact that White and Rasheed joined fairly recently (in 2021 and 2022 respectively), while ABH and Kline have been performing together since before Flowerbomb were conceived. “It’s kind of crazy that we have this chemistry with each other though Connor and Abby just joined,” Kline says. “They just fit into our energy and we have so much fun when we play, which I think can be contagious.”

Having been an active band for a long time, Flowerbomb have performed at many local venues and shared stages with many local acts, such as Cinema Hearts and Grady. Each performance often features a carefully constructed set list that the band spend a lot of time pondering in order to curate the perfect show. The goal is to build a community through these performances and Kline has noticed that there are now some consistent faces that keep showing up. Not only does she value the fans who come to shows regularly but also the new people, whom she always enjoys talking to.

“It’s not just about playing for us,” Kline says. “It’s about really connecting with other people in the music scene.”

Kline and ABH say they’ve had many memorable performances throughout the years, but one of the most memorable shows that exemplified how the band connect with their audience was their very first performance following the pandemic shutdown at DC9 in October 2021. That night ABH proposed to his wife onstage. “It was totally on a whim,” he says.

And Flowerbomb aren’t just putting on shows. The band are working on a new album they’re calling Gloom Scroll. While Pretty Dark explored themes of gender, sexuality, and trauma based on Kline’s own experiences, Gloom Scroll will give a hopeful view—the album is more about healing rather than trauma. 

Fans will potentially have a chance to hear two new—unfinished—songs at Flowerbomb’s upcoming show in the Pocket. The band have never done anything like this before, says ABH. Typically their songs have been completely polished before they’re debuted, but the band want to change things up and they’re excited for people to hear the new music. However, there probably won’t be any proposals this time around.

There’s a lot to look forward to after the performance as well. Along with the album, Flowerbomb has a music video and a few singles they plan to release in the coming months. They also have a free solo act in Falls Church happening in July and an East Coast tour they’re planning for September.

Excited about the new album and the win at the Wammies, ABH wants to emphasize to fans that, though Flowerbomb are a collaborative effort, a lot of the success is due in part to Kline and her vision for the band. “Flowerbomb is Rachel, it starts with her,” he says. “This cannot be a band without her.”

Flowerbomb perform with Monsoon and Grady at 8 p.m. on April 20 at the Pocket. thepocket.com. $12–$15.