|The Cherries: Vertigo Girl
Vocals/keys: Joanne Kieran
Vocals: Gemma McGowan
Cello: Rosanna Schwarzacher
Drums: Boots Wellington
The Cherries are almost an updated form of jazz, clearly influenced by the likes of Nina Simone, dragging out their letters and deepening their voices to achieve her sound it comes out more Lisa Stansfield, but it works.
At times, in the second track for example, “Anything I want” the vocals almost sound like Sophie Ellis Baxter. And that’s the key, their mixing jazz with a quirkiness that hasn’t been seen in a while. The songs themselves are easy to listen to, not particularly demanding, but pleasant.
I can picture them on the soundtrack to Jack & Sarah or Bridget Jones Diary – nothing too serious or strenuous. They call themselves an eclectic four piece and that’s exactly what they are, some of the tracks are more poppy than others, but that’s inevitable, “Ring ma Belle” has a more modern beat to it, a mellowed out Sugar Babes kinda track.
The various harmonies and united chorus works really well, the Cello breaking in for a solo – nothing too jazzy, just keeping with the rhythm. This laid back jazz claims its influenced by the likes of Radiohead & Pearl Jam, and the opening bars of “Why” shows these rockier origins, before returning to the sultrier sounds of the two girls. The short tempo of the piano in the background gives the track a nice pace, keeping it ticking over pleasantly.
Despite the Nina influence, the songs lack the passion of real jazz pushing it further into the pop world. This hybrid is nothing to be sniffed at, it is extremely difficult to make a jazz record that’s contemporary and enjoyable. There are some truly great lyrics and images “I’m the soda in your soul that overflows & fizzes” – I fell in love with that line! “zim zam zoom” puts one in mind of “cuckoo-ca-choo” and brings to mind a purer time long past.
The title track “Vertigo girl” is a step away from the rest of the album, smoother, with a familiar feel to it, it is well worth the wait. “She don’t need no company, she’s hypnotized on her own” this great image is followed by a lengthy interval on the piano and cello, allowing the lyrics to set in.
That’s what truly separates them from other musicians, the respect for music – real music, not just lyrics - makes it a very pleasant experience. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not VANGELIS or JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, but the balanced way they approached the music makes it a really good record.
If you’re looking for something light but interesting to listen to, then take my advice – check out THE CHERRIES!
|Review written by: Grace Larkin, IU --|