This October, Derry’s own pop-punk trio Cherym exploded back onto the scene with their Hey Tori EP, one of this year’s most eagerly anticipated releases both at home and in the flourishing punk scene further afield. For a band relatively early in their career, and despite all the disruption of the pandemic, Cherym are one of the most recognisable sounds of Derry and are synonymous with the Northern Irish punk scene today. This release only further encapsulates the charm and talent we have come to know and love so well.
Hey Tori opens with the infectious guitar riff of single ‘Kisses on My Cards’, with frontwoman Hannah Richardson’s vocals quickly capturing the listeners’ attention and imagination with the all too familiar themes of frustration and miscommunication in a relationship. This song presents a mature and yet familiar sound from Cherym, demonstrating the evolution of their familiar edgy sound. This is perhaps best outlined in the solo and breakdown in the middle; one which would make you feel right at home in a mosh pit.
‘Listening to My Head’, follows this. It is pop-punk at its finest, and retains Cherym’s unique sound, without straying too far from the influence of the riot grrrls who came before them. ‘Listening to My Head’ certainly sticks in your head, being one of the band’s most memorable singles to date. It plays into the theme of the highs and lows of love introduced in the first track, played out over an infectious, multi-instrumental beat. The first of the new releases, ‘We’re Just Friends’, highlights another element of the band’s sound. Moving slightly out of the comfort of their pop-punk focus, this song is female fronted rock at its finest. ‘We’re Just Friends’ is a credit to Cherym and their ability to bend genres and morph sounds while still sounding indistinguishably themselves. The song is highly emotive, yet still effortlessly cool. The maximalist production that threads itself throughout the EP is at its finest here.
‘Gone Girl’ only further embodies the range of the band’s sound. The raw sadness of the verses contrasts with the screaming anger of the chorus, resulting in a devastatingly beautiful and cathartic anthem of loss. These different aspects to the song are juxtaposed in such a way that feels natural, that flows remarkably well, and only further highlights the raw talent and range of the band’s sound. Squeaky clean production has only further added to the song’s appeal, solidifying it as an audience favourite already.
EP closer, ‘She’s Enough Going On’, sews the various sounds and themes of the EP together, bringing the EP to a conclusion while demonstrating each of the bands’ musical talents. From soaring vocals, to infectious, upbeat guitar riffs and drum beats, and even a synth line, ‘She’s Enough Going On’ is everything this EP has been so widely loved for. Cherym have given us so much to enjoy and look forward to with Hey Tori, not least the anticipation of hearing it live.