Song of the Day: Chromatics “Cherry”
Chromatics are one of those groups who sneak up on you. They take a lot familiar pop music elements and cast a web of melancholy similar to what a lot of the great 80’s underground bands (i.e. Hüsker Dü, The Cure, The Smiths) managed, while still being their own group. While between the mood they cast and their use of vintage analogue synth sounds, it seems that it would easy to dismiss the band as mere throwbacks, though because they bring a certain modernity in production and songwriting approach, doing so would be a mistake. In many ways, the band is very of today in that they explicitly reference what came before them while also doing something that is, in its way, very of today. In this way, you can see why the director David Lynch likes the group so much. It also probably helps that both Chromatics and Lynch originally herald from the Pacific Northwest but are now based in Los Angeles.
“Cherry” is a great song that documents the downfall of a failed relationship. The phrasing of its opening couplet explicitly references The Magnetic Fields song “Candy” (which itself sounds like a modernized throwback to whimsical 60’s folk pop), but diverges from there. The song appears to be about the break down of the romantic relationship between Chromatics and label Italians Do It Better impresario Johnny Jewel and his bandmate, singer Ruth Radalet. While the song is also too slow to be an out and out dance number, there is something dancy about it. It is a dance song for the end of a long summer evening when you are feeling melancholic and too tired to keep dancing but don’t want to go home yet. Enjoy.