Tracks Of My Teens: #8 – Cherokee Red

14 May

Tracks Of My Teens

After an unexpected absence brought about by laptop troubles, which thankfully have been resolved, we are pleased to be bringing back Tracks of my Teens this week. And what a treat we have for you. We thought no-one could follow the immense effort from Breaking More Waves Robin Seamer but what do we know?

Cherokee Red have produced one of our favourite albums of the year so far with their eponymous debut. It is bewitchingly tranquil and beautiful and we absolutely love it. We are delighted now to welcome singer Christiana Bartolini to the site as she takes us through the Tracks of her Teens.

Cherokee Red Group

Music has always been this positively haunting thing to me. I can’t ever escape it (nor do I want to). From my mother’s stories of how I’d hum myself to sleep as a baby to the toddler recitals where I’d coyly sing Annie’s “Tomorrow” or the classic “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” with feet firmly planted and a slightly terrified demeanour. Music was this inescapable necessity that constantly coursed through my veins before I even knew what the word “passion” represented.

As a child, I grew up with a hodge-podge of musical genres. The elders in my traditional Italian family didn’t hide their never-ending affinity for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like. My father instilled in me a love for many great musical influences of the 70s and 80s- Phil Collins, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hall & Oates, The Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac to name a few. All the while my siblings, cousins and I had a knack for all things R&B and hip-hop even though we were too young to truly comprehend the underlying meanings. I was spending my preteen years endlessly pining over the boy band flavours of my generation (Hanson, Backstreet Boys and N’Sync) while attempting to habitually turn down the volume of the Christian Rock radio station that my mother exclusively preferred (at full blast, to boot). It wasn’t until my early teens (in 1999) that the angst set in and my appetite expanded to less assuming yet rising genres that, unbeknownst to me, would permanently mould my teen years and open my mind and tastes to music that my family viewed as “kind of weird” and I viewed as simply genius.

Phantom Planet – “So I Fall Again”

To me, this track and this band are timeless. It was one of the first bands that I discovered in the newly emerging indie rock world. As soon as I heard this song on a local college radio station, I was immediately enthralled and picked up their album, Phantom Planet Is Missing. The dynamics of this song are a tug of war between melancholy suffering and shimmering indie pop instrumentals that make your angst-filled teenage years seem a bit more tolerable and light-hearted. The shifts between edgier guitars and softer orchestral arrangements were the perfect representation of the hormonal roller coaster teenagers have no choice but to ride. And Alex Greenwald? SO dreamy. To sum it up, this song (and album) was my ballad all throughout middle school and high school.

Editor’s note; sadly there is no audio of “So I Fall Again” available to embed online. If anyone knows of a link we can share, please do get in touch.

Death Cab For Cutie – “Soul Meets Body”

I will always hold a candle for early-era Death Cab For Cutie no matter how played out they may have seemingly become. Their album, Plans, was a staple for me in my teen years when I just wanted to chill out and FEEL SOMETHING, man. Seriously though, “Soul Meets Body” was my anthem. The acoustics in that song were pleasantly breezy while the lyrics were contemplative and unabashedly yearning for some sort of fulfilling direction. This song and this album can definitely stand the test of indie pop time even if your “emo” stage was just a phase. These guys were the indie pop kings and for good reason. Their lyrics could’ve meant a certain thing to you as a teen and then take on a whole different meaning to you as an adult. I highly suggest you revisit Death Cab!


Rilo Kiley – “Paint’s Peeling”

Choosing just one Rilo Kiley track was really tough for me. Their album, The Execution Of All Things, was a total game-changer for me (as was More Adventurous). This band has possibly had the biggest influence on me when it comes to vocal performance and all-around instrumental sound. But if I had to decide on just one track, I’d have to say “Paint’s Peeling” is what gave me my own vocal confidence. It was singing along to that song and album that truly helped me find my own strength and confidence; something that I originally thought I was lacking too much of to do what I truly wanted to accomplish. I have Jenny Lewis’ fierceness to thank for that. Rilo Kiley fearlessly broke the mould while maintaining an intelligent and confident hold on their songwriting and musical style. I sincerely look at their work as a masterpiece within the indie rock realm and beyond. I can honestly say that, after 10+ years, I will never get sick of their music.


Recently, after giving my chiropractor my band’s debut album, he expressed great enthusiasm while wisely stating, “Music is medicine.” Those three words intensely resonated with me. It makes sense if you think about it. Researchers say when you get the chills as you listen to music or when you’re at a live show that that’s actually your body releasing oxytocin. So in an undeniable way, music really is medicine. It’s just that everyone’s got their own remedy.


Cherokee Red’s eponymous debut album is out now and available to buy here.


Stalk Cherokee Red: Facebook / Twitter / SoundCloud /

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One Response to “Tracks Of My Teens: #8 – Cherokee Red”

  1. name not supplied August 1, 2013 at 22:02 #

    i looked for so i fall again as well. there’s a version online but its not the right one i dont think.

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