Spiritual Wonderland

Ileana Alvarez-Diaz

The dynamic duo that make up the female band Cheeky are worth checking out. They are more than just girls with guitars. They are Bryttany Cunningham and Charlotte Axthelm; a powerful harmonic duo whose music makes you see your whole life in nostalgic pictures. The girls hail from Westport and Milford respectively, and attend UMass. Bryttany is double majoring in psychology and natural resources, with a concentration in wildlife. Charlotte is also a psychology major.

We Are The City (photo obtained via Facebook)

I had the opportunity to interview them after seeing their performance on March 30.

“We lock in our harmonies really well,” said Cunningham.

“We get brushed off a lot,” Axthelm continued, stating that people tend to see female musicians as only opening acts to the real musicians.

However, these girls are definitely talented enough to stick around. Their lyrics tug heartstrings. Their voices are beautiful, wonderful, marvelous, enchanting—do I need to go on? It’s the labels that remain tough to break away from. As Cunningham said, “…we really strive to stand out.”

These are not your typical girls singing about boys and sunshine. Axthelm went on to say, “We’re not like that.” Their songs are undeniably heartfelt and sincere, connecting with the audience is what they want to do.

“I guess our message that we try to convey, is that we just kind of put our feelings on paper and then we throw it out on the audience and just let them know, you’re not alone. If you’ve ever felt this, you are not alone,” Cunningham said.

These girls are honest and dedicated, and sung with so much soul that I may have cried a little. I know their performance, is one that I’ll never forget.

Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cheekymusic

I certainly can’t forget the second group to perform that night, We Are The City, as they made such peculiar sounds with their music, that it sounded just like magic. Watching them was incredibly fun; almost hypnotic. They were just so down to earth on that stage.

The members included Cayne McKenzie, David Menzel and Andrew Huculiak from British Colombia, Canada.

Their record is flawless; it’s that type of music you find yourself listening to on a Sunday morning. I also had the opportunity to interview one of the members via email.

Ileana Alvarez-Diaz: When did you all first become interested with music? Did anyone inspire you? Role models?

Cayne McKenzie (vocals/keys): Role models are an inevitable thing that all people come by, I think. I’d say we have been inspired by such people as: Aaron Weiss, Thom Yorke, Brandon Scott and Christopher Walken.

IAD: How long does the music process take? How about songwriting?

CM: Let me tell you, for me, there is no certain answer regarding songwriting process. It is cavernous in its variances and oscillates slowly between slow and fast, easy and uneasy. Some songs come out like nothing and breathing seems harder. Others, sometimes it feels like most, come slowly and take much thinking and reformat after reformat.

IAD: Where do you all get the inspiration for the songs? What is it you want to convey to the audience?

CM: Spiritual ventures and thoughts are a big part of our writing. Friendship. Sinews that connect us to each other. To our audience, I think one thing we definitely aim to convey is an encouragement. An encouragement to keep looking for positivity and such a peace.

IAD: Any embarrassing moments while performing?

CM: There are definitely embarrassing moments on stage! Everything from voice cracks while singing to burning our facial hair off during performances. It’s all part of the fun.

IAD: Do you all have any other interests?

CM: Star Wars, Frisbee, sushi, good conversation, intense conversation, reality TV. Just to name a few.

IAD: What are some of the challenges you all face? What’s the fun part?

CM: I’d say the biggest challenge is getting three people with an even stake in an idea to agree on some sort of common ground. As it goes with any creative endeavor, emotional investment is a hard hurdle to jump. So, that’s a tough thing for the three of us sometimes. But, that said, there are so many things that make it all worth it. We’re like brothers: fighting sometimes but loving each other all of the time.

IAD: Any last words? Any other things readers/listeners should know?

CM: It would be nice for me to see you — whoever’s reading this — one of these days. Instead of reading a conversation, I think it would be nice to engage in a conversation. You, dear reader, and me. And, to do the whole marketing bit, we have a new record coming out on June 4th. It’s called Violent and we are very excited about it.

It is clear that this group is superb at what they do—complete pros at making the audience feel infinite. Check them out Facebook, as well as on Bandcamp. They experiment with so many sounds, echoes, and melodies; it’s overwhelmingly beautiful to hear.

http://wearethecity, https://www.facebook.com/wearethecity.bandcamp.com/

Once again, The Space put on another remarkable show.