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Cherry Bleach lead Aberdeen music revival with ‘anthem for youth’ and new record label

Aberdeen psych four piece Cherry Bleach are set to release a new single and launch a record label.
Aberdeen psych four piece Cherry Bleach are set to release a new single and launch a record label.

Aberdeen psychedelic grunge four-piece Cherry Bleach are set to release an “anthem for youth” and have launched a record label to help rising city bands.

Cherry Bleach will release the track, 17, on August 8 on all digital media platforms and have also set up Dark Matter Records.

The new single is one of the band’s first tracks and underwent a number of re-writes as they wanted to get it right.

After an all-night session, they finally discovered that magic sound and are convinced 17 can be an anthem for youth as their fan-base continues to glow globally.

Formed in 2018 Cherry Bleach have become huge hits on social media with 32,800 followers and more than 365,000 likes on TikTok.

Guitarist Thomas Reid said: “In the past, there has been Smells Like Teen Spirt (Nirvana) and Baba O’Reilly (The Who) as anthems for their times.

“Now does not really have that.

“Our new single is anthemic for youth and I think people will relate to it as it feels like what it is to be 17 – it’s a riot.”

Aberdeen psychedelic four-piece Cherry Bleach. Photo by Lewis Mann

Recreate the exciting time of being 17

Singer Elisha Wilkie insists the lyrics, riffs and feel of the track encapsulate the excitement of facing limitless possibilities as a 17-year-old.

Alisha said: “It is speaking about being 17, being at parties and that really exciting time in your life when you are not an adult yet.

Bassist Ewan Watson agrees, saying: “When you are 17 it is an optimistic period in your life before all the doom and gloom of things like council tax and rent comes in.

“There is a sweet spot of not quite being an adult but being adult enough where you can do what you like.

“It is fun being 17. And that is the point I think everyone looks back on and thinks I wish I could go back to being that age.”

Online sensation Cherry Bleach have a new single coming soon.

Restructured and ready to go – single 17

Cherry Bleach are Alisha, Ewan, Thomas and George Hudson (drums). The four-piece used the absence of live shows for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic to remodel their sound and emerged with a more expansive psych direction.

Thomas said: “We made the new version of 17 more groovy and added other aspects that weren’t there before.

“The original demo of the song was good, but not unique.

“We didn’t want to scrap it as we knew it had potential.

“We started working on it again one night and now it sounds so much better we are definitely glad we kept it because everyone likes it live.”

Drummer George said: “It needed restructured.

“We had the chords and liked them but the way the song was pieced together didn’t do it justice.

“We had to give it time to flesh it out.”

Dark Matter Records to support city bands

After more than a year without a concert Cherry Bleach finally returned to the stage in April when playing live in an empty The Blue Lamp due to coronavirus restrictions.

Finally they were able to play in front of an audience, albeit still restricted, on Friday July 23.

Determined to unify the Aberdeen music scene by delivering a platform for rising bands Cherry Bleach have created a label, Dark Matter Records.

An inspiration has been Flightless Records, the label set up in Melbourne, Australia by  King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard member Eric Moore in 2012.

Fundamental to Flightless has been the ability of bands to retain complete autonomy.

Dark Matter Records aim to replicate that freedom to artists whilst also offering a valuable support network for emerging musicians.

Aberdeen band Cherry Bleach after their recent live performance at the Blue Lamp.

Thomas said: “The goal with Dark Matter Records is to unify the Aberdeen scene and get everyone on the same page with what we are trying to do.

“To build a community of people where they can join in and want to be part of it rather than being in a toxic environment of who is better than who.

Unify the Aberdeen music scene

Rather than Aberdeen bands competing against one another Cherry Bleach want them to come together for the greater good – to put the Granite City on the music map.

Cherry Bleach live at The Blue Lamp. The Blue Lamp, Aberdeen. Supplied by Paddy Buchanan

They crave a community where musicians are supportive with the end result a greater chance of success for city bands – and more fun.

Ewan said: “Our experience is that it can sometimes be hostile so we want to give something to younger bands so they don’t have to go through that and have fun.

“It is an easier way for younger bands to release music because they can do it through us.

“Although we have limited experience, it is experience nevertheless that we can give to people.

“We want it to be fun and exciting.”

Cherry Bleach aim to Gallowgate based venue The Blue Lamp as a launching pad to reignite the Aberdeen music scene after almost 18 months without live shows in front of audiences due to lockdown restrictions.

Now that audiences are allowed back in venues, although still in reduced numbers, The Blue Lamp will be key to Dark Matter Records.

Alisha said: “Dark Matter Records’ aim is to give all bands in Aberdeen a platform.

“Where there is a community and we all only want what is best for one another.

“It something we are tying in with The Blue Lamp who are heavily involved in it.

“There are plans in the works to have a Dark Matter showcase at The Blue Lamp this year.”

Cherry Bleach have pushed the sonic boundaries during lockdown.

Music is not supposed to be a competition

Dark Matter Records will put on live shows, release vinyl, as well as downloads – Cherry Bleach are willing to try everything to make the label, the bands on it – and ultimately the Aberdeen music scene, a success.

Thomas said: “Rather than everyone being in competition with one another we want to create a community where there is a mutual admiration.

“Music is not supposed to be a competition of who has done what better.

“It should be everyone supporting and congratulating one another.

“It can be hell for young bands as you can get so caught up in what other people think you end up losing focus on making good music and enjoying it.

“That is what we want to bring back.

“We are planning on doing split singles, physical copies, limited editions, cassettes, live albums – we are going to chuck the kitchen sink at it and see what happens.”

Any band interested in releasing material on Dark Matter Records should email:

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