CHERRIE LAUREL
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CHERRIE LAUREL

Vancouver, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2018

Vancouver, Canada
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Electronic Alternative

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The best kept secret in music

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Vancouver electronic pop artist Cherrie Laurel — who also plays in Mu with Francesca Belcourt — shares the visuals for the enchanting and emotional lead single from her debut solo album A Furnace, A Fire, coming next week. Directed by Jordan Findlay and starring the glowing, dancing aura of Cherrie Laurel, it’s a simple but hauntingly beautiful and transfixing video that has us officially psyched to hear the rest of the record. Cherrie Laurel tells us about the cathartic dance pop gem “Pleases Me“:

“Trapped in a circle of light, where isolation is both savoured and expelled. Reality is suspended and auras exposed.”
A Furnace, A Fire is out December 6th. - Gorilla vs. Bear


Vancouver’s Brittney Rand (formerly of Mu) has a new solo project Cherrie Laurel and is about to release a new album (A Furnace, A Fire - out on December 6th).

We have the first single, “Pleases Me”, and the accompanying video, and according to the release it’s a song “that explores the rhythm in isolation in a very gentle way”.

Can’t wait to hear more! - 3AM Revelations


You may know Brittney Rand as half of the local duo Mu, along with Francesca Belcourt. We haven’t heard much from Mu lately, but the act made a splash a couple of years ago with its gauzy electro-dream sound, which I described in a 2016 feature as “darkwave’s pastel-clad sibling”. Rand and Belcourt, I wrote, create “songs of cotton-candy-cloud ethereality, with heaven-sent vocal harmonies and pillowy synths”.

The music Rand is making now as Cherrie Laurel, as heard on her new six-song EP A Furnace, a Fire, isn’t exactly worlds away from that aesthetic. It is, if anything, a more refined version of Mu’s ethereal synth music. It’s more immediate-sounding, darker, and more brooding.

Rand has, one suspects, been listening to a lot of Fever Ray. (Or maybe the Knife. Probably both.) Her vocal delivery on “A Little Noise” and “Alkaline” is eerily reminiscent of Karin Dreijer’s.

“Pleases Me” and “Love Song”, on the other hand, find Cherrie Laurel exploring pop songcraft in a way that is entirely Rand’s own. The melodies are gorgeous and the production is seamless and enveloping. There’s something haunting about the whole thing, a lingering aura of melancholic nostalgia that’s hard to shake even after the EP ends. If you’re anything like me, that’s when you’ll hit Play again. - The Georgia Straight


Sometimes you wake up after having a dream that feels so real that you almost second guess yourself that it happened. The music of Cherrie Laurel, the pseudonym of multi instrumentalist, producer and singer Brittney Rand, occupies this space. Most of you may be familiar with Rand's former band, the danceable and ethereal Mu, and while the music of Cherrie Laurel may not be straying too far from that last project, Rand infuses her new work with an amazingly personal touch that everything becomes so very immediate. Her debut single, “Pleases Me”, off of the upcoming EP A Furnace, A Fire, is a hypnotic dance number that is so wonderfully hooky that it’ll burrow its way into your brain and make you question if you’ve actually dreamt it or not. The video, directed by Jordan Findlay, is a simple one shot of Rand dancing in a field, illuminated as if she exists just as an aura until the camera pans in, revealing the singer all nerves, shook and fragmented as if she has had no choice but to get this music out of her, revealing the ultimate catharsis. Its simplicity is only matched by its beauty and it ends the year with one more thing that you’ll need to add to your “Best Of” lists. - ION Magazine


When Brittney Rand calls the Georgia Straight, she's fresh from a rehearsal at the East Van jam space she shares with artists including Art D'Ecco and Actors. The common thread is drummer Adam Fink, who is surely one of the Vancouver music scene's most valuable players. Fink plays with the aforementioned acts, and he's one of the two people Rand called upon to help her bring the music of her latest project, Cherrie Laurel, to the stage. (The other is Jackie Bartel, guitarist for dreamy popsters Babe Corner.)

“It’s been a challenge to interpret the songs live, because obviously I do everything in the box," says Rand, who wrote, performed, and produced all of Cherrie Laurel's six-song debut, A Furnace, A Fire, herself. "I’m using a lot of sampling, doing a lot of layering. Each song has maybe 80 to 150 tracks in it, so it’s like, what do I pull out? What do I keep in? I stripped them down a lot. I’m still doing the electronic part of it, Adam’s doing drums, and Jackie’s taking on some of the guitar parts I recorded, and adding texture to the songs.”

In their recorded forms, the songs on A Furnace, A Fire already have plenty of texture. In that sense, Cherrie Laurel isn't that far removed from the music Rand made in collaboration with Francesca Belcourt as Mu. In contrast to that duo's more pastel-hued output, however, Cherrie Laurel numbers like "A Little Noise", "Pleases Me", and "Alkaline" thrum with darker synthesizer timbres and more propulsive beats.

Rand tells the Straight that, although Mu hasn't disbanded, the duo is on an indefinite hiatus reinforced by geographical distance. “Francesca is based out of London now," she says. "We don’t want to put that to bed yet. We’re just taking a rest on it. We were really writing different songs, both of us, and hers became her album Buds, which just came out. I think it was an important exercise for us to do our own things for a little while. So it’s not necessarily dead, but it’s on hold for now.”

Having said that, Rand notes that Mu fans won’t have long to wait for something new from the duo. Well, sort of new.

“We recorded a song that I had sort of intended to be on this album, and then we made it into a Mu song," she reveals. "We made a beautiful music video with Jordan Findlay, the person who did ‘Pleases Me’. We shot it on film in this amazing house in Trout Lake. It took about two years to get this thing done, which is insane. It was supposed to be a single that was released two summer ago. It’s so beautiful and Jordan did such a good job that we kind of felt we should just release it to say ‘Okay, we’re on hiatus for a little bit, but here’s this thing.’ So we’re probably going to release that in a couple weeks.”

In the meantime, there's A Furnace, A Fire, a project into which Rand says she has channeled a great deal of "heartache, frustration, and anger".

“It’s weird the way that it came out, but I was reflecting a lot about my health and being a woman and what it meant," she says. "At the time I was having a lot of medical problems. That’s where my frustration came from. I was in a really bad, dark place, so I guess I was using this as a way to explore where that anger was coming from, why I was feeling like that, and trying not to be overcome by it and have it put me into a bad place. I always think of songs as creating something out of the worst thing that can happen to you, especially when you’re writing aggressive music. I feel like maybe this is my version of aggressive music without it being punk or whatever. I wanted to push through the veil of language that I used in Mu to sort of disguise whatever was happening to me at the time when I wrote whatever song, you know?”

Rand says her new songs are “more direct and obvious” than her previous work, although she would prefer listeners to interpret them for themselves. Don't expect her to provide a lyric sheet.

“If you read the direct lyrics, then you’re already taken out of the story," she says. "Whereas if you can pull out these little bits, it’s usually the bits that jump out to you that are the most meaningful to you, because you’re sort of wanting to hear them. But if you’re reading them, then it feels like you’re taken out of the magic of it.”

Which brings us back to what Rand is trying to achieve in that East Van rehearsal space: magic, specifically the kind created when a performer makes an authentic connection with the audience.

“I just want to play," Rand says when asked about her goals for 2019. "I miss playing music. I just miss playing, so I’m going to try to play as much as I can.”

Cherrie Laurel plays a release show for A Furnace, A Fire at the Fox Cabaret’s Projection Room on Monday (January 28). - The Georgia Straight


Splitting the difference between indie rock, shoegaze, and avant-pop, we have a machine groove, intricate synth flourishes, and a big pop vocal. The harmonies are deliciously inventive, and the vibe is future-dark like a scene from Bladerunner.

With a gently sardonic wit and a vivid memory, CHERRIE LAUREL is processing her past, and decides to take a fresh approach to life, with an eye only to the future. It is a powerful thing, to accept the possibility of each moment. Many of us, perhaps, would do well to have our spell broken.

CHERRIE LAUREL is an avant-pop electronic producer and performer based out of Vancouver, Canada. This song is featured on our CHILL Angeles playlist. - Apple News - CHILLFILTR


Discography

A Furnace, A Fire 
December 2018

Photos

Bio

CHERRIE LAUREL is an avant-pop music project, founded
by Brittney Rand, formerly of electronic duo Mu. This project employs a
multi-sensory approach to exploring the personal, political and esoteric. December 2018 marked the official release of her debut
album, ‘A Furnace, A Fire’, with its first single ‘Pleases Me’ premiering on
Gorilla vs. Bear in November 2018. Utilizing her formal training in digital
music production for film and gaming, CHERRIE LAUREL wrote, produced and
recorded ‘A Furnace, A Fire’ in her home studio in Vancouver, Canada.

Band Members