Later this week, on Thursday, July 11th Chicago-based DIY artist Paul Cherry will make a quick stop through Charleston to play at The Royal American before hitting the road with the Los Angeles-based bilingual quartet The Marias. Joining Cherry at Royal this Thursday night will be Charleston DIY bands Shirlie and John Bias. The show is presented by Paid Vacation, a relatively new local DIY collective that rose from the remains of Makeout Reef.
Paul Cherry first entered the scene in 2014 with his debut EP On Top, which was firmly rooted in lo-fi indie rock, and helped him gain a strong following in the DIY worlds of Chicago on beyond. His next album release, Flavour, came in 2018 and marked a shift from a lo-fi sound to a more produced, jazz-influenced indie pop sound.
The change in sound and improvement in production value might lead one to believe that Paul had gone to a proper studio to record Flavour, but according to a WNUR interview with Cherry last year at Pitchfork Fest, he records all of his music at home. The answer to the shift in style was that he spent four years perfecting the songs on Flavour, while On Top was recorded very quickly just for fun in his apartment, and then thrown up on Soundcloud. It got some solid traction on Soundcloud, and so Paul decided to take his time with Flavour and record something that he could truly be proud of.
Shirlie is fairly new to the Charleston music scene but its members have been around the local DIY sphere for quite some time, formerly playing in bands like Del Sur, Hot Showers, and Tall Kitchen Bag. They’ve only got one track out currently, a short one called “Cool With It”. The song was released earlier this year, and it also made an appearance on the 2019 Scene SC Sampler. This is their first Charleston show since March, and with such a solid lineup its a good opportunity to see what they’re all about, if you haven’t already.
John Bias is a band that comes in many different shapes and sizes, but the one common denominator is frontman Patrick Tobias and his quirky views on music and life. John Bias comes in two forms: John Bias & the Simplicity, and John Bias & the Ever-Expanding Band. This show features the Ever-Expanding Band, which features a rotating cast of musicians that pushes the songs in different directions depending on each musician’s tastes and styles. The Ever-Expanding band has a record in the works that will likely be out within the next few months, and I’m sitting on an interview with Tobias that goes into detail about the project. That interview is coming soon.
Check out Paul Cherry’s Daytrotter Session featuring “Like Yesterday” off Flavour below. Facebook event for the Royal show is here. Cover is $5 at the door, show at 9pm.