2014-05-27T17:21:53+00:00 2016-02-04T04:23:37+00:00

Cherub's new album is disgusting, and that's why you should love it (NSFW)

Shortly after getting my gold grill last year, I was standing in the kitchen of an unassuming Nashville home, talking with Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber about the ins and outs of gilded dentistry. "How do you clean gold teeth? What does it cost? How do you take them out?"

Jordan "grilled" me with questions about my grill, and it wasn't until a few months later that I figured out why. On a weekend trip to New York, the Cherub boys were fitted with their very own gold teeth. It completed their look, and the reason they stand out amongst the too-pretty Nashville crowd they come from.

Cherub isn't squeaky clean pop music, because Jordan and Jason aren't squeaky clean people. Their tattoos are obnoxious, their outward behavior is remonstrative, and absolutely no apologies are offered. Cherub doesn't need to apologize for anything they're doing, because they're re-inventing what sexual, drug heavy, alcohol-fueled, dance music really is.

Without overstepping myself, I believe Cherub is the most transcendent, genre-defying musical act since Prince. "Year of the Caprese", released today, is their "1999". Like Prince, Cherub brings overt sexuality, wrapping it in a friendly package, with an innocuous smile. It's music about cocaine that you can feel okay about giving to a middle schooler, assuming you're the worst parent in the history of parenting.

Perhaps that's why I'm so drawn to Cherub, and why so many of their fans are addicted to every release that this two piece band puts out. The brutal honesty is endearing; they may be total dirtbags on the surface, but under their Gerber-baby-and-Air-Jordan-tattooed skin, it's genuine music about love, their real lives, and the everyday events that encompass the texture of our collective Millennial lives.

From their music, to their entire aesthetic, Cherub has rejected "pretty and polished". With their reboot video of "Doses and Mimosas" the duo takes a subtle jab at Nashville's polished, country music roots. Our heroes appear first in cowboy attire, before stripping away the friendly exterior in a modern suburban home, and exposing the gritty underbelly of the town where they rest their heads. This is the reason their local fans pack every single show at Cannery Ballroom and Marathon Music Works – Nashville has embraced the integrity of rock music, fused with funky dance grooves, and cocaine powered energy.

Last weekend, I enjoyed a lunch at Three Crow Bar in East Nashville with Cherub's producer, engineer, and un-official third member, Nick Curtis, of Nashville's low-key infamous "The Stu". That's when everything clicked in my head: This isn't all out of control. To say that Curtis is nothing like Huber and Kelley would be an understatement of the highest order. He's a quiet, mellow, and introspective young man. He listens intently to everything, and focuses the input into something greater. The music Cherub creates is great because it's a conversation between them and their fans, but it's also a dialogue between three incredible musicians.

Kelley is the most frenetic of the trio; a veritable ball of energy, driving falsetto's and enthusiasm.  Huber represents the middle ground, mellowed out from a fresh bong rip, thinking deeply about the subject at hand, but still flashing his classic Jason Huber grin and laugh.

Curtis takes their musical dialogue, like listening to a conversation, and provides the adjectives and analogies that make it pop. I know, because I've seen it happen, live in the studio. Curtis stops, rests his head for a moment, gathers his thoughts and then repeats the music back to Kelley and Huber, in a way that enhances all their thoughts and visions. Watching this whole process happen in real time is surreal, because you know you're witnessing something legendary happen, and you can't wrap your head around it.

The magic though, doesn't end in the studio. In an age where seemingly every "dance music" musician takes the stage with turntables, Cherub comes to life with guitar ballads, Roger Troutman style talkboxes, and champagne showers. They'll wander from their catalog, and dive right into a Daft Punk cover, live on guitar. Kelley's arching falsetto meets Huber's mellow tenor, and the vocal harmonies build and fall – it's familiar to anyone who has ever seen Prince perform live. It doesn't seem like they could, or should sound this good live. But they do.

Getting to know the members of Cherub over the past two years has been incredible. I have watched their commitment to creating unique, and ground-breaking music. Finally seeing the finished product hit the world makes me smile, because I like seeing my friends succeed. More than that though, I love getting on Twitter and Tumblr and looking through their mentions. I love seeing this album come out, and knowing that their first major label release through Columbia is everything I hoped it would be. It's everything their fans hoped it would be.

Cherub signed a major label deal, but they didn't change. They didn't compromise. They didn't get pretty. They just got more "Cherub", and that's why we all fell in love with Doses and Mimosas two years ago. We can all relate to Cherub, because the duo reminds you of two guys you party with. If you live in East Nashville, I can assure you, these are two guys that you probably have partied with.

The good news is, the party just started. With "Year of the Caprese", Cherub popped a bottle of champagne, and told everyone to get naked. It's sexual and dangerous, but in a good way. Like handcuffs in the bedroom, but the pink, fuzzy ones that aren't as intimidating as you think they are once you're wearing them. (Not that I know anything about that.)

You can buy "Year of the Caprese" on iTunes or Amazon.

You can also catch them on tour, unless you have an aversion to having fun. If you hate fun, don't go see Cherub, because you will totally hate them.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

May 29 – Las Vegas, NV; Our Big Concert presented by X107.5  
May 30 – San Diego, CA; X-Fest presented by San Diego 91X  
May 31 – Los Angeles, CA; KROQ Weenie Roast  
June 1 – San Francisco, CA; Live 105 BFD  
June 7-8 – Ozark, AR; Wakarusa  
June 12 – Manchester, TN; Bonnaroo  
June 21 – Denver, CO – Westword Music Showcase  
June 22 – Dover, DE; Firefly Music Festival  
June 26-29 – Rothbury, MI; Electric Forest Festival  
June 28-29 – Pilton, UK; Glastonbury  
July 10 – Lisbon, Portugal; Optimus Alive 
July 18 – Salacgriva, Latvia; Positivus Festival  
July 19 – Bern, Switzerland; Gurtenfestival  
July 24 – Nimes, France; Festival de Nimes 
August 1-3 – Montreal, Canada; Osheaga Festival  
August 15 -17 – Somerset, WI; Summer Set Music & Camping Festival  
September 6-7 – St Louis, MO; LouFest

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