Nasty Cherry visited the PAPER offices immediately before lockdown in NYC, and brought with them brand new music and, fittingly, cherry scones. (Those were very delicious, thank you.) They mentioned that they'd been exploring and honing their sound, after having first emerged as an experimental project under Charli XCX — complete with a dramatic Netflix series.
Bandmates Gabi Bechtel, Chloe Chaidez, Debbie Knox-Hewson and Georgia Somary created their Season 1 EP without anyone knowing they existed, but now their fans have a heartbeat and sing the lyrics back to them at live shows. This energy — something that can be felt, touched and experienced — inevitably informed the direction of Season 2, out now, which feels more confident and open to experimentation.
The first song Nasty Cherry previewed was lead single "Shoulda Known Better," which they went on to publicly premiere at a PAPER x Club Quarantine in April. An electro-leaning, garage-punk tune that builds into a riotous chorus, the track sounds like the girls recorded it for their fans to mosh at concerts (or, for now, head bang on Zooms).
Then came "Better Run," the greatest song Nasty Cherry has released thus far and a prime example of nostalgic pop hitting perfectly. Through it, Gabi introduces us to her "darkest demons" and warns a lover that they should "run away from her heart" because she's "occupied." On the pre-chorus she sings, "The closer we get, the more I get scared for you" — a sad, but relatable sentiment backed by driving '80s synth production.
Elsewhere on Season 2, Nasty Cherry looped in 100 gecs' Dylan Brady to produce "I Am King," which sounds like it could've been a demo made inside some emo band's 2010s Warped Tour bus. The guitars are wildly blown out amidst some weirdo metallic sounds that could only emerge from Brady's brain. There's also "Just The Way You Like It," with a massive chanting chorus that would flawlessly soundtrack a shopping mall scene from one of the Olsen Twins' early aughts films. And, finally, "Cardamom December," the EP's existential closer that ultimately asks, "What have I done?"
With the array of nostalgic references woven throughout Season 2, PAPER asked Nasty Cherry to capture themselves on Photo Booth (like it's a Friday night in your parents' basement). They also individually answered a classic Myspace questionnaire — the type you'd share on bulletins. Get into everything, below.
What is today's date: 7/15/2020
What time is it: 4:52
Who are you thinking of: Nasty Cherry
What are you listening to: Miyazagi
Are you happy: i think so
Your weakness: i rock too hard
Your fear: rocking too hard and physically damaging myself
Have you ever been in love: hell yeah
Do you believe in yourself: hell yeah
How many things in the past do you regret: i can't even quantify that
What is today's date: July 16th 2020
What time is it: 17:21
Who are you thinking of: dolly parton
What are you listening to: wye oak and orville peck
Are you happy: yes!
Your weakness: motorbikes and pink drum kits
Your fear: paying for airline internet and it not working
Have you ever been in love: :)
Do you believe in yourself: yuh
How many things in the past do you regret: usually six, but sometimes seven
What is today's date: July 15th 2020
What time is it: 4:20
Who are you thinking of: Myself
What are you listening to: Korn
Are you happy: Are you?
Your weakness: Sex
Your fear: Not having good sex
Have you ever been in love: Am right now
Do you believe in yourself: Hell ya
How many things in the past do you regret: No rugratz
What is today's date: *14th July *
What time is it: *6:25 am... my sleep is erratic *
Who are you thinking of: *A very hot very stunning person, who has great taste *
What are you listening to: Ask Me No Questions- Bridget St John
Are you happy: I'm in my bed, which I just got after sleeping on a sofa for three months, so that's made me happy
Your weakness: *I can be very defensive, but I'm trying to work on that. I also love a cheeseboard, despite being quite lactose intolerant. *
Your fear: bugs getting tangled in my hair
Have you ever been in love: *Yes. I love feeling like part of myself has melted into another person, it gives you a sense of home I think. I'm very romantic about it, even the sad parts. *
Do you believe in yourself: I do! I exist! I'm skin and muscle and fat and bones! I have thoughts and dreams and I metabolise! I have lungs and a heart! I am a tangible being!
How many things in the past do you regret: *There's so many things I could have done better or differently. So many bad decisions! But you can't go back, only try to live in a better way going forward. *
Stream Nasty Cherry's Season 2 EP, below.
Photos courtesy of Nasty Cherry