Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

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Album Review: Cherry Ghost – Herd Runners

3 min read

At a time when so much of the music industry is saturated with superficial, meaningless stories about materialism along with the other values that our society has pushed upon us all conveniently compressed into your standard three to five minute song, to run into something that really stops and makes you feel something seems a lot more rare than it ought to be. With Herd Runners, Cherry Ghost’s third studio album, set to be released on May 16th, those who still value listening to music with emotion will feel a little better in knowing that another band has entered the fray between art and the bottom line.

CherryGhost-HerdRunnersAs with all bands, the growth of Cherry Ghost can largely be contributed to the passing of time and the experiences that each and every band member embarked likely embarked upon since the release of Beneath This Burning Shoreline, the band’s previous album released during the middle part of 2010. After a few years of creative collaboration throughout the industry with notable artists such as Sam Smith and Rae Morris, songwriter and vocalist Simon Aldred returns with words that tell the many stories of love, fear and everything in between those two universally relatable concepts.

In terms of comparison, while I’m not one to readily attempt to put a band into the same box as another, mostly because I believe that each artist is not a common shape that one can replicate but instead more of an obscurely contorted blob of play-dough, if I had to choose one song that the entirety of this album really reminded me of, it would have to be Heroes by David Bowie. More specifically, it is the perfect inclusion of that song to the final scene of the movie of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one in which the lead character stands victorious on the back of a moving truck cruising down the highway after finally combating and defeating the personal turmoil he had been plagued with for years. With each track on Herd Runners, whether it is the quiet anxiety of losing one’s lover in Don’t Leave Me Here Alone or the sadness of Drinking for Two, one can still feel this same optimism that either pushes you to feel that the story has reached that very same moving truck scene or that it is just on the horizon for the character.

On the whole, the album lives up to and exceeds the expectations that listeners of its predecessors should come to hold before embarking on the uplifting opening track of the album, titled Clear Skies Ever Closer. In terms of the songs that truly stand out on the album, a few must be highlighted in an album that definitely had no weak link. Whether it is the intoxicating sorrow of Drinking for Two, the seemingly continuous uphill battle described in Sacramento or the somber and slow sounds of the excellent track Herd Runners that radiated an aura of Bruce Springsteen to me, one simply cannot go wrong with any selection that they choose to tune into on this album.