Before I go any further, I need to recuse myself. My judgement isn’t impartial, because Cherub are two of my close friends – Jordan and Jason. Sometimes, I find it difficult to write about music because I’m not a “music blogger” anymore, and I work in music every day. My opinion is just a bit slanted because music isn’t just something that comes through my speakers; it’s what got me almost every friendship I have as well. With that said, Cherub is a band you need to know about right now, because they are destined for greatness.
I met Jordan on a whim, long after I had corresponded with him during my days at Earmilk. One night shortly after I moved to Nashville, I ran into him at a bar. There was that moment of “Oh wait, you’re that dude…” recognition, and then shots were bought. Hugs were done. Cherub stopped being a band I listened to on my computer, and became a band I got drunk and watched the Oscars with. Jason’s girlfriend started playing on Pintrest with my girlfriend. (Ref: “Oh my god! She pinned that too?! I knew she would love the same stuff I do!”) Jordan and I wax poetic about philosophy and scotch in his kitchen. Jason and I eat pizza and enjoy the more herbal side of life.
The difference between success and failure in music is all mental. There are thousands of musicians out there, and many of them are talented, driven, and even achieve a degree of success. Cherub has the “It Factor” though – and not the usual one. Cherub has balance, and a sense of zen. Cherub understands the peace is in the valley, and the summit is where decisions must be made.
Sitting on Jordan’s counter late one night, gripping a bottle of whiskey, laughing alongside our mutual friend Ian, I explained to Jason and Jordan my theory of why they’re destined for success.[pullquote]The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there. – Robert Pirsig[/pullquote]Cherub has an intelligence outside of music, giving them a mind-state capable of weathering small differences, and keeping their goals. It’s something I don’t see in many artists, and when I find it, I always smile – because it’s a peace within the process. I can see their balance and peace every time they perform together. While Jordan has his talkbox gripped in his teeth, he’ll make eye contact with Jason, and they’ll dive into another chorus. The energy they exude is something you can feel in the crowd, when everyone is waiting for Jordan or Jason to break out a bottle of champagne and spray it on everyone in the front row. Then you’ll see another nod, or wink, and Jordan will smoothly bend down on his knees, while Jason holds an extended note – before everything transitions into a Daft Punk cover?[ref]Whoa! I didn’t see that coming, but I love it!”[/ref]
Their show is rehearsed and then rehearsed again, and it shows, because all the pieces move perfectly together, like the sum of all the part inside a Formula 1 engine. It’s loud, and beautiful – with all the moving pieces producing something better than the sum of their parts. Sure, they write songs about cocaine use and excessive drinking – but it’s tongue in cheek, sexy music, so it’s agreeable. It’s a song about cheating on your girlfriend that your girlfriend won’t mind you singing along to. Want to trap a cougar in a hotel room? So do I! Is it sexy? Maybe. Is it fun? Absolutely!
Their music is a balance of 90s roller-rink dance ballads, with a touch of 80s synth pop. The Troutman-esque talkbox backing harmonies blend with stable drums. Jordan and Jason each have their own touch to every song, and it’s the zen they achieve together that comes through in their music. It’s perfectly crafted pop music, and it has been missing from the music landscape for a long time. Pop music needed a compelling and lovable duo. A duo with chemisty like this is one of the rarest finds in music, and when it happens, you fall in love with a band. When it’s all said and done, we’ll be putting Cherub in the same class of other great duos: It’s like Hall & Oates, Simon & Garfunkel, Sam & Dave, Eric B. & Rakim, Sonny & Cher, The White Stripes, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, The Blues Brothers, etc.
If you’re at SXSW, check them out. You can check out their SXSW schedule, along with all their other tour dates here.