Rising: Puma Blue
“I feel vulnerable everyday,” declares Jacob Allen, the South Londoner who goes by the name Puma Blue. “I’m emotionally sensitive.” This declaration may not come as a surprise to listeners of his. The 23-year-old’s brand of dusky, jazz-inflected guitar pop has always advocated vulnerability at its core.
Puma Blue’s songs are wide-open confessions about isolation, heartbreak and intimacy, all neatly wrapped up in his homely, velvet vocals. Blood Loss, his newly released sophomore EP, perfectly encapsulates the simmering wistfulness that characterises his lo-fi sound. Listening to his music feels like taking a winding night bus alone after a night out – cathartic and sombre in equal parts.
You could say that Puma Blue falls into the ‘sad boi’ music bracket. In fact, he could even be the poster boy for the aesthetic: a contemplative white male writing melancholic, reverb-laden songs, all hyper-emotional in nature. But despite its meme-worthy aspects, the subculture is playing a valuable part in wider discussions about toxic masculinity – something Allen is conscious of. “I was super depressed and had a hard time telling anyone because I was worried that I’d bring everyone down around me. I didn’t want to be this negative force.”
“There was definitely a time where I was suppressing things, but I’m better now,” he admits, adjusting his tone over the phone. “When guys get in touch to thank me for the music, it’s nice that so many of them are saying ‘hey, I’ve just been finding recently that it’s OK for guys to be upset and talk about their feelings’. I’m definitely not the only guy out here being emotional, but I’m glad to help in any way I can.” Allen understands the power of songwriting as a tool for catharsis. He’s a sad boi, sure, but deep down, he says he’s all about spreading light: “My music can be quite sad but I hope it helps people feel positive and warm, too. That’s why I do this – to bring good vibes.”
Sounds Like: Woozy, jazz-flushed guitar pop
Soundtrack For: Introspective late-night walks
File Next To: King Krule / infinite bisous
Our Favourite Tune: Midnight Blue
￼￼Where to Find Him: pumabluemusic.bandcamp.com
The Blood Loss EP is out now via Blue Flowers