While it’s been nearly four decades since the rise of shoegaze, the genre is still expanding, influencing new artists and trends around the world. If you look hard enough, nearly every major city in the United States has a DIY scene with a plethora of bands exploring the various applications and possible allusions that shoegaze has to offer. While this national network is at a strange impasse due to the cessation of live shows, the genre lives on through the determination and creative passion of its creators. One great example of this is Washington D.C.’s Cherry Ames, who released a new single “Angel 5” on August 14.
Coming ahead of their first studio EP, No Brakes — which drops on September 25 — “Angel 5” is a fantastic encapsulation of Cherry Ames’ DIY approach to songcraft.
“We’re really proud that this record is a totally DIY affair,” guitarist and bassist Matt Vandenbroek told American Songwriter. Recorded entirely in Vandenbroek’s basement studio, “Angel 5” is an energetic track that soars with a level of airborne excitement. Perhaps this is thanks to the songwriting partnership between Vandenbroek and the band’s vocalist, Jamie Darken.
“This song was the first true collaboration between Matt and me and I’m so proud of what we did together,” Darken said. “He gave me the music and the working title of ‘Angel 5’ and I drew lyrical inspiration from my honeymoon to Portugal. Specifically, I wanted to capture the feeling of flying to a new place — the exhilaration and nervousness of looking out of an airplane window and knowing that soon you’ll be in a foreign world. To me, this song is our most uplifting and serves as the beacon welcoming the listener to the EP.”
For his part, Matt agrees with the assertion of flying imagery. “I’d always felt the song had an aerial feel — I’m a big aviation geek — but, I never had any set lyrics or vocal melody until Jamie joined and the lineup solidified,” he said. When asked what they hope audiences take away from the song, they gave the endearingly honest answer: “We hope people like it.”
Listen to “Angel 5” by Cherry Ames below: