Aberdeen psychedelic four-piece Cherry Bleach have created a social media storm with more than 29,000 followers on TikTok.
Such is the growing buzz surrounding Cherry Bleach, who recently released new single Rule Her, the band have racked up 297,600 likes on social media platform TikTok – and rising.
Formed in 2018 in the Granite City, the quartet have already gone global with a fan-base as far afield as the United States and Greece.
Cherry Bleach, who also have 8,500 followers on Instagram, hope to eventually cross the Atlantic to tour the States – with Los Angeles a hotbed for their fans.
Started TikTok ‘to see how it would go’
Singer/guitarist Alisha Wilkie said: “To have people following us and listening to our music on the other side of the world is brilliant.
“We couldn’t practice during lockdown so I started a TikTok page just to see how it would go.
“Now we are sitting at 29,000 followers which is amazing.
“When we started expanding our audience during the lockdown it gave us a lot more confidence to branch out and do different things.
“The new psychedelic aspect to our music is something we wouldn’t have been able to do if we hadn’t gained the confidence from the growth in our audience online.
“It wasn’t something we planned out, this is our style.
“It just feels really organic in the way we write our music now.”
All of Cherry Bleach’s tracks are available on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music.
Bassist Ewan Watson said: “We have a massive following in Greece and in the United States. Los Angeles is our top city in the United States based on Spotify statistics. Turkey as well. It has really gone worldwide.
“If the opportunity to tour overseas arose we would dive straight into it and see where it takes us.”
Cherry Bleach are Alisha, Ewan, Thomas Reid (lead guitar) and George Hudson (drums).
Lockdown produced a change in sound
The band released debut H.M.S in 2019 before following that up later in the year with Alabama – all still available on streaming sites like Spotify.
In January 2020 the Bees in My Bones EP was released with HMS and Alabama included along with three new tracks.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit in March last year and music venues across the United Kingdom all closed.
Unable to not just play live but practice in a studio due to lockdown restrictions it produced a change in sound for Cherry Bleach with the far more expansive Drown released at the end of the year.
Ewan said: “Although the lockdown was horrible circumstances it was actually good for us a band. That year inside allowed us the chance to find our proper sound. We had that opportunity to expand our sound.”
Thomas agrees, adding: “To begin with the lockdown was really difficult but we all focused on our own aspect of being in a band. As we couldn’t really focus on being together I focused on my song writing and guitar playing. I’m sure the others were the same.
“We had time to think about ourselves and when we did come back together after lockdown started easing we were in a much better position than when it started.”
The result of that evolution of the Cherry Bleach sound is new release Rule Her, a sonic howl that is a statement of intent for a band on the ascent.
Rule Her – 21/05/21🔮
The incredible @cbarbour.media designed the cover for our upcoming single! We have wanted to work with Cara for so long now, we can’t thank her enough for this🖤
You can now pre-save Rule Her through the link in our bio, ONE WEEK TO GO!✨✨✨
— Cherry Bleach (@cherrybleach_) May 14, 2021
Crucial to the evolution of Cherry Bleach’s sound during the lockdown was the influence of the music they were listening to during the year live music shut down.
They absorbed the psychedelia of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, arguably one of the most influential underground bands of the last 20 years.
We were listening to psychedelic music, absorbing it all in. Bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Thee Oh Sees.”
Thomas Reid, lead guitar, Cherry Bleach
Led by Anton Newcombe The Brian Jonestown Massacre emerged with debut release Methodrone in 1995, a development and expansion of the drone rock of Spacemen 3 and Loop.
Since then they have released a further 18 albums, all different and genre defying including classics such as Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request and This Is Our Music.
Thomas said: “We were listening to psychedelic music, absorbing it all in. Bands like The Brian Jonestown Massacre, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Thee Oh Sees.”
Alisha continued: “Thomas now also sings in the band as well. We have taken inspiration from the fact The Brian Jonestown Massacre use both male and female vocals in songs. If it wasn’t for them we probably wouldn’t have thought to add that into the band.”
Pushing the boundaries
A band that is willing to push the boundaries both sonically and visually, Cherry Bleach have also unveiled powerful photos of the male band members posing in dresses alongside singer/guitarist Alisha who is wearing a suit.
Taken by Lewis Mann, they are an homage to grunge rock pioneers Nirvana who dissembled gender boundaries by wearing dresses.
One Direction singer and actor Harry Styles also wore a dress on the cover of fashion magazine Vogue last year.
Thomas said: “We are massive Nirvana fans and the In Bloom video when they are on stage in dresses really captured my attention.
“In that In Bloom Video, they don’t care. The whole thing with Harry Styles when he wore a dress on the cover of Vogue created a bit of a stir on Social media.
“We had that idea anyway and were going to do it that very same week. So it was perfect timing and a great opportunity to do something different.”
Gig at The Blue Lamp
Cherry Bleach have not played in front of an audience for more than a year.
However they did finally take to the stage recently when playing live in an empty venue at Granite City bar The Blue Lamp.
A number of musicians and bands have played closed door shows at The Blue Lamp in recent months as the venue gives a platform to the music scene amidst the lockdown.
Alisha said: “It was fantastic to play at the Blue Lamp.”
Cherry Bleach’s performance at The Blue Lamp was streamed online and it is clear from the footage that their their new sound is soaring.
Onwards and upwards – 297,600 likes and counting.