Introducing a new split 45 via Empty Cellar Records featuring harmony-heavy San Francisco legacies The She’s and The Dry Spells. Tight vocal harmonies, ambitious musical arrangements, and diverse influences meet on both sides of this record.
The She’s, the group that got its start while in middle school have brought their steadily amassed stylistic and dynamic breadth to the track, “Cherry Red,” produced by Patrick Brown at Different Fur. It bursts open with with a driving surf beat cut with the laser-guided vocal counterpoint The She’s are known for. Aggressive Go-Go’s, The Breeders at the beach, Shonen Knife in the Golden State. Call it what you want; It’s irresistible. After winding through a dizzying set of changes, the She’s pull the rug out from under, dropping you (along with the beat) into a half-time dream that would make the Shangri-La’s smile, but also calls to mind english guitar bands of the 90’s, a reference reinforced by singer Hannah Valente musing about painting her lips – the classic color that gives this track its name – shortly after reminding us that we will all die and ultimately be forgotten.
Side A, features the restorative trance of the Dry Spells’ “Heliotrope” (members of Sonny & The Sunsets, Jonas Reinhardt, Citay), produced by Tim Cohen (The Fresh and Onlys / Magic Trick) and mixed by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring). The track opens with delicate guitar lines reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane’s best slow-psych (think “Today”) spilling from a wash of cymbals. Aquarian? Yes. Wishy-washy? No way dude: A Fleetwood-McVie rhythm tightens this track, clean, warm and hypnotic under vocal harmonies that rise and rise and rise some more. Enter the guitar solo – nuanced, spacious and moody – it slides across a Fairport violin, risen from the mix to dabble in the sun-worshiping harmonies. This song is not, however, without its grittier influences. The bass line is biting as it is melodic. Sinewy and driving like a fretless Television, it coalesces with guitar and vocals into one final pitch-perfect exaltation before everything collapses into the fragile sustain of a tremolo’d guitar.