The She‘s just released “Cherry Red” off a Split 45’ from Empty Cellar Records with The Dry Spells. The song starts with some guttural shout-cough type thing. First time I heard it I thought something happened to someone next to me, something that called for immediate attention. This is one of the ways the song will snag you.
Like a lot of The She’s music, the song is loud, catchy and punctual. The song (and group) is really tight – there’s never a doubt on where the song is and where it’s going. Three and a halfish minutes of popping rock (rocking pop too), about what aging can look and feel like. The first, fast and bleak part of the song showcases more of their more breakneck, live sensibilities, while singing coldly from the sideline (“Youth can fade in bleach blonde braids, stuck behind deciding how to live before you die. In twenty years you’re buried deep and they don’t even cry”). In the slower section, the singer steps into the spotlight (the singer of the song, not the singers of the band; narrator, not author). They sing in first person, “You said in time, ‘honey I know what’s right‘, just keep painting my lips, cherry red.”
The song holds up two camps on aging: a cold, rock and rolling, it is what it is kind of approach; and a slowed down, somewhat confessional approach. The She’s don’t seem like they need much more than 3 ½ minutes to write songs dynamic in tone and mood, a distinction that seems easy to smudge.
Order the split single here.