Originally forming to blast the hinges off the door to the boys club that is the Northern Ireland scene, Derry’s Cherym have gone from being local sensations to a rising phenomenon in recent times. Offering up slices of gnarled pop rock with serrated edges and an all encompassing sense of carbonated energy, the three-piece present power pop that lies in the vein of Dream Nails, Fresh and Meet Me @ The Altar whilst being inspired by the likes of PUP, Bikini Kill and Pixies. Effortlessly flamboyant and refreshingly scrappy, whilst the pop punk rock recipe the band base their sound upon has been attempted before countless times, Cherym add a haplessly enjoyable new twist to the genre with an infectious love for life coating all they release.
Over the course of their relatively short history thus far, the trio have already been met with the early spoils of a clearly bright career. Following on from the release of their debut Mouthbreatherz EP in 2018 and a slew of stand alone singles after, the group found themselves receiving praise from radio types rom Radio X to BBC Radio 1 whilst performing alongside names such as Yonaka, Fangclub, Bicurious and even semi-local post-rock legends And So I Watch You From Afar. Even with the act sharing stages with bands removed from the alt pop sound, their sheer effervescent attitude and intensity made the group appealing to all that encountered them.
With their aptitude in providing nonstop fizzy hooks established, 2021 is set to the biggest year for Cherym so far. To coincide the announcement of their signing to the ever-so-tangy Alcopop! Records, the group recently released their biggest track to date in the form of ‘Kisses On My Cards’. Wicked, bladed and haywire in pacing, the single see’s the band at their most dizzyingly enthusiastic and violently joyful, with the track carrying a faint reminiscence to the early days of Riot Grrrl all whilst sounding positively fresh. Combined with it’s catholicly twisted music video – one that features an adulterous teddy bear meeting his end – the track is a flash of vibrancy in a period of dismal monochrome.
With the ‘Kisses On My Cards’ out now via Alcopop!, we got in touch with the band for a chat on their origins, the Derry scene and dying from frostbite.
For those new to Cherym, how would you describe yourselves?
"We’re the OG Derry girls just in it for the ride. We’re always up for a bit of craic and we usually take ourselves too seriously. In terms of our music we would describe ourselves as indie or bubblegum pop, or a wee bit of both."
What are your main collective inspirations, both musically and lyrically?
"We all have different inspirations that range from Charly Bliss and Tincred to Shania Twain and the Coors to Avenged Sevenfold and Bring me the Horizon. We all listen to very different music yet we’re all pop-rock musicians, so we’re all able to bring something different to the table when it comes to writing."
You recently released your latest single Kisses On My Cards. What's the reception been like?
"We just feel so overwhelmed with all the support we’ve been receiving from our fans to radio play and everywhere in between. After almost a year of not releasing any music due to the pandemic we were a bit anxious to just come out with a new song and see what people think but we have received so much love and support. It makes us so excited to release more music"
Talk us through the video for the track, what was it like recording it?
"Obviously it was good craic, we just have so much fun doing anything together, were 3 different people but when we get together we morph into this chaotic mess that wants to break all the rules! And because mizz rona happened we had barely seen each other as much as we ever did so the music video, as long of a day it was, was the most fun we've had in ages. We actually filmed it in a barn/shed so it was really cold. Baltic. We nearly died of hypothermia."
You also just signed to Alcopop! Records, what was it about that label that made the offer impossible to turn down?
"It’s a label that we’ve always looked up to. We grew up admiring them and how artist friendly they are and it turns out it’s 100% fact. They're just cool cool cats and a plus being they’re always up for the craic. One of our favourite bands are also on their roaster, the amazing Dream Nails, which is pretty amazing because we are now label buddy's! Goal completed and on to the next please."
You released your debut Mouthbreatherz back in 2018, looking back what was the release like?
"We couldn’t believe the reception when we released ‘Take it Back’ especially because it was the first song we’d ever put out. We were doing loads of gigs and a lot of promoters/bands that we wanted to play for were asking for any music we had which was none so we had to send some scrappy phone footage that are friend had recorded. We just decided to take that professional leap and recorded with our now good friend Caolan Austin down in Small Town America. The release of Mouthbreatherz was just a real heart warmer, we couldn't believe how many people were listening to it and liking it! It was amazing and an unforgettable memory that we'll always treasure."
You caused quite a stir in your hometown's scene, whats the scene like in Derry overall?
"There isn’t really a particular scene in Derry, it’s more like a general live music scene as opposed to a particular type of genre. Derry is pretty small so all alternative music is welcomed with open arms. There’s also very few promoters so the scene sort of runs itself. Bennigans bar in Derry is probably one of the best places in the city for live music, and also one of the first places we played as a band. There’s no fee to hire the venue, which I think is a really important thing for a venue to have in order to support the local scene and I guess is attractive to musicians both on a local and global level. You could walk into the bar and be greeted by a jazz band playing in the lounge, but go out to the beer garden out back and there’s a full on punk rock show about to commence. It’s weird like that, but it seems to work. Everyone knows everyone in our wee scene, and the bands help each other to the best of their ability which I think is so important for a scene like ours."
Finally, what are you hoping to achieve in 2021?
"Hey. a UK tour would be really nice."
"We’ve done a few gigs here and there on the mainland, but never toured over there funnily enough? We’ve made so many friends over there just through signing to Alcopop! and from shows we’ve played there before, so it will be really great to catch up with those guys again once it’s safe to do so and put on a killer rock show. Also I would love to play mainland Europe again, it would be great to get a lil support slot with a big headline band over there and join them on tour."