New Find: Seraphina Simone’s Bittersweet “Cherry”
Seraphina Simone makes a great first impression with a dreamy, gently acidic song about consumerism called “Cherry.” The Brit, who is the daughter of Terrence Trent D’Arby, proves to be something of an alchemist on her debut — mixing modern alt-pop with a synth-sensibility grounded in the ’80s. “Coat me in sugar, so I slip down sweet,” she begins the track. “Baby, I’ll whisper to you while you sleep.” But there’s a dark-side to this dance. “Don’t waste your Hail Marys, I got you hooked on sugar cane,” Seraphina coos. “Mow you’ll do anything for the taste.”
What inspired the song? “‘Cherry’ is the voice in our heads telling us we don’t have enough, telling us to want more, buy more, be richer, be thinner, be prettier, be better than everyone else,” the newcomer reveals. “It’s that sarky bitch who’s really mean to you and you hate her but you also kind of want to be her best friend because she’s perfect and you’re a mess. It’s the voice fueled by consumer culture and jealousy and insecurity and myths like the American Dream. It seems harmless enough even though it fucks up the planet and makes us miserable.”
Seraphina also explained why she decided to go ahead with the song’s release this week when much of the music industry is on pause. “I’ve done a lot of unpacking this week into my own feelings about my mixed race identity, and what it has meant to me,” she begins. “Consumerism is grounded in identity politics – to sell us stuff, it sells us aspirational identities.” This has a direct link to racial politics. “When you aren’t proud of who you are, or what you look like, or you’re trying to fit in, you buy into their messaging even more.”
Listen to the very, very good “Cherry” below.