Meet Nasty Cherry, the Self-Proclaimed Best Band of 2019
‘hi. we’re nasty cherry and we’re the best band of 2019’. If Nasty Cherry’s first tweet as a girl band doesn’t echo overt self-assurance and poise in the most badass way, you’d only have to listen to the band’s first release, Win to realize that this could very well be the case.
The birth of pop-punk girl group Nasty Cherry signals a resurrection of new-wave pop for 2019. Having emerged on social media in January, one of their first dreamy Instagram videos depicts oversized cherry earrings, tears, sparklers, and outfits embodying a vintage flare amid clouds of cigarette smoke, capturing us by their mesmerising, badass we (genuinely) don’t give a fuck attitude. If you think the video might need some context, the context is just that - they’re a girl group defying any orthodox expectations that they must conform to. The context is, in this sense, that they will be whatever they want to be, and we’re certainly here for it.
Nasty Cherry is composed of four members, Deborah Knox-Hewson (Debbie) on drums, Georgia Somary on bass, Chloe Chaidez as guitarist and Gabriette as the lead vocalist of the band. Having each come from varied backgrounds of music, decorating, dancing and modelling, the group’s collaboration is the embodiment of diversity and women uniting to create one unique, powerful entity; a killer band which knows no limits.
It was at the beginning of this year when Charli XCX, having gone from her hit punk single Boom Clap in 2014 to a fusion of dreamy electronic party pop in one of her latest releases Unlock it, positioned herself at the core of girl group Nasty Cherry, signing them to Vroom Vroom Recordings and co-writing their first release Win.
Win opens with Gabriette’s characterisation of herself as a “psycho” with “violent eyes”, her laid back self-confession epitomising the band’s subversion of picture-perfect attributes women apparently must present of themselves, despite the flaws we ultimately have. Continuing with “I tell you secrets, I tell you lies,” Gabriette, amid her nonchalance and the chill new-wave tempo of the song shows us how acknowledging our not-so-perfect side is no big deal, and neither should it be.
Accompanied by an increased fusion of 70’s beats (think The Runaways) with electronic new-wave melodies, Gabriette boldly declares, “we’ve played this game twice, I won’t play nice, you can’t take me down,” ultimately manifesting into the powerful assertion that she “need(s) to win”. The band show us how succeeding is accompanied by a sense of vulnerability whether this is heartbreak, insecurity or rejection. Nasty Cherry know what they must do to win, and despite the inevitable challenges of endeavouring to succeed, the hints of playfulness evoked by the bass suggest that they are, nevertheless, up for the challenge. As Debbie states in an interview with Noisey “It’s such a fun fucking song. I think it’s got what could be considered a lot of male energy about it, and I think that’s really cool coming from women – being very fearless in saying what you want and taking it.”
Fearlessness is at the core of Nasty Cherry’s artistry, as in a recent podcast with Gurl Cult, Gabriette ponders the oh-so-common feeling of regret, stating that “bullshitting around” in her youth often makes her reflect: “oh, if I wasn’t doing that I could have been here.” Instantly, Gabriette draws upon a common sentiment of asking what if? which, in a world of speculation is undeniably draining and consuming; we hate to lose, whether its missing out on someone, something, anything. Gabriette adds that her biggest fear is that “something will happen before I get to my point of, like, where I’m supposed to be, but I guess you continue growing forever.” Gabriette’s resonation with these feelings, quintessential of the dread that we are too often met with will perhaps be overtly reflected within Nasty Cherry’s lyricism, as shown by Win which, whilst at first glance, may simply be an ode to old-school punk rock, is embroidered with meaning and authenticity that a lot of contemporary music lacks.
Whilst Charli XCX appreciates the cliché that often accompanies asking someone what their biggest dream is, in their candid interview with Gurl Cult, Gabriette’s response is antithetical in this sense, responding profoundly that her biggest dream is “to have a body of work behind me that I’m really proud of and that makes me feel fulfilled” adding that “the dream is not like money or fame, of course, that would come along with it…but yeah just being like, ultimately really happy with where I am.”
Whilst some may see it as too premature to judge whether Nasty Cherry are in fact, the best band of 2019, it is undeniable that they will nevertheless excel in proving that they are more than ready to create a legacy that sets out to defy all expectations of women within the modern-day musical canon. The astuteness accompanying Gabriette’s response to create a “body of work” driven predominantly by originality instead of financial merit or stardom delivers reassurance for the listener that their music is genuine in reflecting the uncompromising lyricism and the band’s blatantly empowering image alike.