New Wave Pop/Indie Pop Why We Love

Why We Love: Studio Killers

When I say ‘virtual band’ you’ll probably first think of Gorillaz, but move over Damon for this group of equally crazed animals. Studio Killers are back and bigger than ever before, thanks to one classic tune’s unexpected viral success.

The animated group, formed of singer ‘Chubby Cherry’ keyboardist ‘Goldie Foxx’ and DJ ‘Dyna Mink’ (as well as their manager ‘Bipolar Bear’) first gained attention in 2011 when their single ‘Ode to the Bouncer’ reached number 9 in the UK Club charts. Doing live gigs as a virtual band is just as tricky as you’d imagine. Still, after crowdfunding the money to kickstart their venture into the physical world, the band first brought their animated personas to life in 2014.

After enjoying their first album’s major success, the group suddenly went quiet as the characters’ anonymous talent went back to doing their own thing. That was until 2018 when a video appeared on their YouTube channel announcing big things. The same year, they brought us two brand new singles and announced that they would be crowdfunding an animated web series based around their characters.

Some lucky bands see an unexpected surge in their popularity when one of their songs is featured in a movie or a tv show. There are many examples of groups being propelled into the spotlight, thanks to Hollywood, but something this group didn’t expect was to become a TikTok phenomenon. Their track ‘Jenny’ became a viral sound used by thousands of creators on the platform and has since relaunched the band into the spotlight and gained calls for new music ASAP.

Jenny is all about lead singer Cherry’s infatuation with her best friend, with one particular lyric being put to short videos of peoples friends, dogs, vegetables, you name it.

I wanna ruin our friendship. We should be lovers instead.


Since the band’s formation, the musicians’ identities have remained a mystery, with all online interactions done via animated videos or stand-in look-alikes. The voice behind the ever-lovable singer Cherry is rumoured to be male singer Teemu Brunila of the band The Crash. Studio Killers have neither confirmed nor denied this, but if it is true, his female persona certainly adds a whole new spin to these already brilliant songs.

In celebration of their second wave of success, the band released an official lyric video to Jenny on YouTube. Their fanbase’s soaring growth will surely help in the group’s pursuit of making an animated series of Cherry and the boys, with the Kickstarter already having gained over double the support of their original crowdfunded gigs back in 2014.

For those who maybe aren’t usually keen on electronic or club music, fear not. Studio Killers offer something more entirely. The band’s fun, comical and fearless personas are full of all the bits we love about virtual bands, they most definitely offer something refreshing. Every Studio Killers song is a treat, so go ahead and treat yourself – take it away, Cherry.

Listen to Studio Killers on Spotify now.

Pop/Indie Pop Why We Love

Why We Love: Frances Forever

21 year old Frances Garrett is a fundamentally fabulous up and coming indie icon. Masqueraded behind the stage name Frances Forever, an ode to the song Francis Forever by indie inspiration Mitski. Anyone who’s anyone has heard their monumental track ‘Space Girl’ which has blown up on TikTok in the last couple months, but their discography is so rich that to only be familiar with the viral hit quite frankly is a crime. If you’re a fan of artists such as Clairo, Sidney Gish and Cavetown, then get ready to add a new favourite artist to your roster. 

Since releasing their EP pockets back in 2018, Garrett has made noise and gained acclaim around their own city of Boston, but aptly disturbed the airways all around the world. Hazy dreamscapes, almost touching on slight psychedelic sounds, all in combination to serenade your brain into a high that’s near impossible to get over. 

Track 1 from pockets is the crooning cry inside my car, which casually goes through the strains of mental health within young people, tuned to an addictive, upbeat and jolly sounding song. I think it goes to show the strength of an artist to go into depth even if casually, but make their problems a sugary singalong. Art is an expressive form of talent, and to turn your life into a canvas for the world to consume and hopefully relate to, is something that has had a dramatic increase since the digital age of music in the last decade. The quality of meaning and personality that modern artists put into practice is abundant, and Garrett is no exception. 

However on the contrary, you have tracks like fuck u, taken from pockets also, which takes the lyrical theme and explores the correlation between the meaning, the lyrics themselves and how a real human would compose themselves when going through those emotion. It’s almost self aware, one of the lyrics being “Because i’m only thinking ’bout you, and only you and only you / I can’t think of anyone but you / The only rhyme in this song rhymes with you and only you” which at first glance would come across as ‘lazy’ songwriting, but you look at the realm of the track and that’s precisely the joke, and it’s actually quite clever really. One thing Garrett has made clear is their stance on the stigma of ‘how to’ write a song, “Something that I hate about music these days is, ‘Oh, you can’t put that lyric in because that’s, like, a joke lyric, that’s not serious music’. I really think that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously as a songwriter.” Which is something to really think about, if you want to be true, and want your audience to feel comfortable enough to relate to your experiences, then why become somebody you’re not? 

Other tracks from Garrett such as the second half of EP pockets, or single Frankenstein Wannabe, are just as efficacious as the tracks mentioned above. Garrett’s musical portfolio is wondrous, and I think the only sort of let down is that there isn’t a crazy amount of music to listen to as of yet. But that’s part of the thrill of discovering an artist such as Frances Forever, you get to watch them release more and grow. You as the listener are as much of the process as the songwriter, and so whatever the future holds for Garrett is absolutely boundless. Not to mention the heaps of covers on their official YouTube channel dating all the way back to 2015, which if you’re desperate to hear more from the Boston badass, I cannot quantify how much you should binge through it all. In just December of last year they were signed to MOM+POP, so I think it’s safe to say 2021 could bring a copious amount of content to delight your ears for years to come. 

So I think it best to love you and leave you with the track that’s done the world the pleasure of introducing Frances Forever to the global audience of TikTok; Space Girl. But here’s a live version instead, because this past year has been far too unkind to the live music scene. So take this as a reminder of how fantastic and inspiring live performances are, but also to show off the talent of Frances and friends. Keep your eyes on this one, like the route to the Space Girl herself, the only way for Frances Forever is up.