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Cherry Glazerr’s Brand-New View

Cherry Glazerr
Cherry Glazerr Pamela Littky

Cherry Glazerr frontwoman Clementine Creevy does not need another music book.

Raised by writers — her mother is a novelist and her father writes for TV — Creevy remembers Christmases weighed down by music-focused tomes.

“When you’re the music kid of the family, every Christmas you get books about music or books about rock. You might end up with four copies of Kurt Cobain’s autobiography one Christmas,” she says with a laugh.

In their defense, Creevy’s parents were responding to their daughter’s passion the best they could. Theirs was no more musically inclined than the average household, but music came organically to Creevy. Her uncle rose to the occasion and gave her a guitar. She was ten.

After that, it was either music or real estate.

“I’ve always had a dream to sing in front of stadiums of people, but I don’t think I said, ‘I’m ten years old, and I’m going to be a famous musician,’” she says. “I wanted to be a real estate agent, because I like a house with a view, and I like talking to people.”

Now 22, Creevy emerged among Burger Records’ preeminent wunderkinds with 2013’s Papa Cremp, a compact lo-fi package of frayed, attitude-heavy rock songs about her cat, grilled cheese and life from inside her bedroom. Having caught the ear of label co-founder Sean Bohrman with Soundcloud recordings under the moniker Clembutt, she assembled Cherry Glazerr (named after Southern California radio host Chery Glaser) and released her debut, Haxel Princess. (A few months later, Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane came calling with a songwriting commission for the YSL fall 2014 runway show. The result, “Had Ten Dollaz,” remains among the band’s most popular cuts.)

Things happened quickly for Cherry Glazerr. Creevy seemed like a ready-made rock-and-roll it girl for the Tumblr generation, the normal teenage demands of finishing high school eclipsed by appearances in V Magazine and Vogue (the first before her eighteenth birthday) and her status as muse to photographer Petra Collins. Her star rising, Creevy signed to left-of-center label Secretly Canadian, home to William Eggleston’s musical exploits and avant-garde pop enigma serpentwithfeet. The label opted to reissue both Papa Cremp and Haxel Princess in addition to releasing sophomore record Apocalipstick.

Released on the same day as Donald Trump’s inauguration, Apocalipstick was a furious, feminist indie-rock effort that scanned as a cross between the Breeders and Paramore — hardly a coincidence, given Creevy’s decision to use Paramore and After Laughter producer Carlos de la Garza. Between every barbed riff and manic drum fill, Creevy kicked at whatever boundary was closest at hand, be it gender roles, consumerism or social-media-induced vapidness.

Between tours, she slipped into John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco and came out with a new album. She loved how it felt live and immediate.

“John taught me so much about the record-making process and trusting yourself and experimenting. That was one of the best experiences ever,” she gushes.

And then she shelved it.

“I love that record, but it wasn’t what I needed to put out at this time,” she says. Its final destination is not altogether clear, but Creevy doesn’t intend to make it Cherry Glazerr’s great lost album. “We’ll probably pick our favorite songs and do an EP.”

Back in L.A., Creevy set to work on Stuffed & Ready, determined to whittle her songwriting down to its most essential parts. She re-enlisted de la Garza and, over the course of six months, recorded Cherry Glazerr’s most straightforward and introspective album to date. When experimental-rock guitarist Delicate Steve reached out to Creevy to express his admiration for her music and willingness to collaborate, she jumped at the opportunity and sent him the beginnings of the full-throttle “That’s Not My Real Life.” He sent an imaginative, elliptical guitar solo back.

“I love that guy. I love his guitaring,” she says. “We had so much fun. He’s killer.”

Delicate Steve aside, she crafted Stuffed & Ready as a remarkably self-contained effort. Rather than double down on political outcry, she mined her own feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. “So isolated I talk to the voice in my head/I’m so isolated my body is taking a leave,” she sings on “Isolation,” a comparatively downtempo cut with rough edges reminiscent of Pavement.

“I was spending a lot of time alone. I had gotten back from tour and wrote a large portion of the album in my own home, which was nice because I had a second to collect my thoughts,” she says. “That’s why the album turned out to be this homey, direct and self-effacing album. Sometimes I struggle with loneliness even when I’m not alone.”

Creevy didn’t set out with a theme in mind, only the idea that she wanted to be as direct and honest as possible. She found a balance between being brutally honest with herself and appreciating the work she was making.

“I wanted to craft a record that didn’t hide behind as much obfuscation as the previous records,” she says. “Before, I felt this need to prove myself as a capable musician, so I would tend toward more maximalism and layers. With this record, I let the good melodies breathe.”

That said, Creevy still enjoys playing songs from Apocalipstick, especially juxtaposed against newer, starker songs. She affectionately refers to her previous work as “oldies” and no longer feels nervous before shows. She doesn’t have a bad word to say about being on the road and describes the beginning of an album cycle as “really exciting and very fulfilling creatively.” Her main takeaway from her most recent European tour: “I love British people. They’re so great.”

Despite a tour schedule that keeps her away from her Los Angeles home for months at a time, she hasn’t lost her soft spot for real estate. She admits her current house doesn’t have a view, but she still wants one. Her timetable?

“Maybe in five years.”

Cherry Glazerr, 9 p.m. Friday, March 1, Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, Englewood,$15-$20,
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Elle Carroll is a writer and photographer based in Denver. She has written for Westword since 2016.
Contact: Elle Carroll