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Electropop Duo Cherub Is Reviving the 80s (In A Cool Way)

Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley are the electropop duo Cherub. (cherublamusica.com)
Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley are the electropop duo Cherub. (cherublamusica.com)

Part electropop, part retro-funk, the Nashville-based band Cherub lit up the summer with their song, “Doses & Mimosas.”

Now, with a little more experience under their belt, the up-and-coming group is out with a new EP, “Leftovers,” that puts the funky beat of the 80s into a new light.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson spoke with the band’s founders, Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber, and asked about their musical fingerprint, life on tour and their addiction to strange tattoos.

Songs In This Segment

Cherub, “Doses and Mimosas” from “MoM & DaD” (2012)

Cherub, “Sucker for Love” from “Leftovers” EP (2014)

[Youtube]

Outkast, “Funky Ride” from “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik” (1994)

[Youtube]

Cherub, “Best Friend’s T-Shirt / Saudia” from “Leftovers” EP (2014)

[Youtube]

Cherub, “All (feat. Natalie Prass)” from “MoM & DaD” (2012)

Interview Highlights: Jason Huber and Jordan Kelley

On the story behind the song ‘Doses and Mimosas’

Jason: “It’s such a ridiculous song and like you said you can’t even air the hook and somehow people are still finding ways to share it… it’s great, I love it.”

Jordan: “After it was created, we really had the opportunity to see just how small the bubble of people that we have touched is. We thought a lot of people have heard this song and then we’ve had multiple opportunities to re-release the song on much larger scales.”

On explicit lyrics and going mainstream

Jordan: “There’s people who don’t want to like it because of the content, but somehow the melody overrides the content and they still rock it. Like my mom. But I definitely think the content holds it back from reaching a larger demographic because it doesn’t sit well with some people.”

On their new EP ‘Leftovers’

Jordan: “We definitely went for like an 80s, 90s, early 90s vibe and we have all these cool little toys in the studio that Jason and Nick and I have collected, and they’re all of these old 80s drum sounds.”

Jason: “In the beginning of the whole process, pretty much anything we did was all out of necessity. We would use what tools we had available to us to make the music and then put out all of the music as quickly as possible because that’s all we had to put out there. And now we’ve been able to take a little bit more time in the studio be creative… more time invested into different sounds.”

On their musical influences

Jordan: “Any music from the ’80s or ’90s is a huge influence for me. I love rap music… stuff from what people would call the ‘Boom-Bap’ era… Like Jungle Brothers, 8Ball & MJG, obviously Outkast. There’s just so many artists to name.”

Jordan: “[Prince is] an obvious for sure. I mean Prince is one of those artists that never stuck to a genre and it’s one of those things that we definitely strive to do, because pigeon-holing yourself is something that’s like a nightmare for me. I definitely want to keep the lanes open so that we can try and experiment with new sounds without losing people.”

Guest

  • Jordan Kelley, member of the band Cherub. The band tweets @CHERUBlamusica.
  • Jason Huber, member of the band Cherub. He tweets @Schtompa.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.