A modern heartbreak album
Flying solo after years of work with her band Quilt, Anna Fox Rochinski has officially released her debut album, Cherry. While some elements may sound similar to her previous collaborations, Cherry lives in a world all its own. The record is filled with ‘80s synth lines, groovy basslines and pulsing guitar riffs accompanied by a wide array of different instruments all melting together under Rochinski’s smooth-as-silk vocals. Cherry perfects a psychedelic-funk vibe while trapping layers of heartbreak within every word—it’s truly a modern-day breakup album.
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, Rochinski began her musical journey at 13 years old, when her father, a jazz composer and guitarist, taught her the basics of guitar. By the time she was 16 years old, she was setting up DIY style shows and performing often, which, in turn, landed her the opportunity to be a part of The Whitehaus Family Record. It was under this label where she met the other members of her previous project, Quilt. After deciding that her musical career needed a new direction, Rochinski departed from Quilt and has now debuted as a solo artist with Cherry under Don Giovanni Records.
The title track starts with a rising drone that quickly morphs into a free-flowing ‘70s sci-fi synth. It feels like the start of a Lost Planet Twilight Zone episode that shifts gears, and quickly becomes an ‘80s Blondie-style song with a catchy guitar riff and silky vocals. The accompanying music video is fantastic, with Rochinski trying out a few beautiful wardrobe selections that evoke nostalgic ‘70s/’80s-era feelings through the styles and colors.
The essence of heartbreak at the center of this project comes through on “Everybody’s Down.” The song is wonderfully deceptive, with a fast pace and fun bop that carries an almost sarcastic tone in lyrics like, “Had I known it’d be lies/ I would have made a sound.” A thick bassline pushes the song forward as perfectly random synths and a few different guitar riffs create a rich and chaotic yet danceable feel.
“No Better,” a ballad, is both complex and simple all at the same time. The song showcases Rochinski’s lush vocals that, at first, are joined only by a fun bassline. As the song progresses bit by bit, different instruments are added, creating a spatial soundscape with several different sounds ready to greet each ear. The song is simple vocally, yet the instrumentation is vast and complex, creating the perfect dynamism for both elements. Rochinski poetically weaves the pain of heartache into lines like “I believed, and now I’m nauseous and depleted/ But it doesn’t make a difference to you,” hiding the hurt under silky smooth vocals.
“Going To See Them” starts like a warped vinyl recording of church bells far off in the distance. The track is a vibey mixture of psych-pop and funk, and Rochinski’s vocals seem to freely float throughout the song. During the second verse, a high-pitched frequency pierces through the song. While at first it might not be noticeable, after a few seconds, the ears are forced to refocus for suggestive lines like, “They’re awake in the background.”
Anna Fox Rochinski’s debut solo album Cherry is filled with silky smooth vocals, thick basslines, pinging guitar riffs and celestial ‘70s/’80s synths. It is a psychedelic-funk exploration of heartbreak, pain and the aftermath, all disguised under upbeat grooves. Cherry is a break-up album that is both hypnotic and dazzling, from start to finish.