UK band Cheekbone packs a fresh blend of modern pop hooks with the character and energy of the 60s rock that first inspired them. Ernest Gorka, Lou Raymond, Stell Kousiounis, Nick Joules & Keenan Williams make up the band that is Cheekbone. They released their debut EP titled “Show Me Something” which ranges from Strokes inspired “indie bangers” to wry character studies. Founding members Ernest Gorka and Lou Raymond share vocal duties on key tracks Deflect and Boat Song. Gorka’s vocals are raging and self-assured, Raymond’s tender and vulnerable. Together, both of their vocal quality fuses together to create an introspective and trail-blazing sound you will become immensely attracted to and fall undoubtedly in love with.
Cheekbone gives you a striking arrangement through each single off “Show Me Something”. Each song places its own emphasis on the EP’s theme, creating a magnificent yet indie wanderlust vibe that you will remember. Cheekbone’s unique artistry is highly incomparable and gives them an edge as opposed to other bands that are currently flooding the industry. As a new decade is approaching, so is a new wave of talent that’s going to hit us like a wrecking ball. It is safe to say that Cheekbone will be amongst this new wave of great talent that will move us into dimensions we’ve been longing for! We’re excited to see what’s in store for Cheekbone as their 2019 was highly successful.
Listen to the unique stylings of Cheekbone here.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic Cheekbone! What is one challenge you’ve overcome that taught you the biggest lesson in your music career so far?
(Lou) Getting your voice heard in such a saturated market is a challenge and something we’re still working on. Most songs you hear on the radio don’t speak to us, they’re so ‘by the numbers’ you’d think they were written with a calculator.
How was it during the creative process behind your EP?
(Ernest) It was definitely a love/hate relationship, we knew how the songs should sound on the record but, due to the rum and wine always available at the studio, we made some avoidable mistakes, like recording Deflect in 3 different speeds as we all couldn’t agree on the right tempo. A month till release date and we’re really hyping up the new single and we can’t decide on the speed, you know?
(Lou) Yeah, there are countless ways to ruin a good song in the recording or arrangement of it and only three or four ways of realizing it’s potential. So we played around with each track a lot and try them at all different speeds and arrangements.
(Ernest) We’re a band we’re not gonna always kiss and love each other and there’s always different unique ideas floating around the room! But that definitely adds to our value and we can't complain about it. It was very experimental, to say the least.
What would you consider your favourite single off your debut EP “Show Me Something” and why?
(Stell) Though they’re all sentimental to us for their own unique reasons, it’s gotta be Deflect. Back then, it was just the three of us together working out the direction of the song throughout the night, drinking wine that was cheaper than we care to admit.
(Nick) My favourite song from the EP changes all the time. All 3 songs are so different but great for their own reasons, but I'd say my favourite to play live is Lena because there’s a different energy from what you hear in the recording, it really comes to life.
Talk to us about the release of your singles “Lena” and “Deflect”. What was the main difference between both songs as far as production-wise?
(Lou) We always get a piano and guide vocal down before anything else, almost every song sounds like a ballad when you first play it on piano. With Lena, we leaned into that and built around the keys. Deflect we went the other way, the piano was the first thing to go and we started layering up guitars, synths, and handclaps. Both had to have the same raw power though.
(Stell) It’s all about the feel. One is the type you’d jump around and chant whilst spilling your vodka and cranberry all down your nice white shirt... Whilst the other is an emotional ‘slap in the face’ chorus you can kiss or fight to.
How would you describe your songwriting approach to “Window”?
(Ernest) I had a melody tucked away deep in my thoughts for a long time and one night it just came to life. It was one of those surreal moments where the song quite literally writes itself, I believe it’s the power of a universal gleam, you have something brewing in your mind for such a long time but the truth is it’s always been there, it was the song chosen for you to express and when it does finally come out, it comes out screaming, it’s the best feeling in the world!
What’s next for you Cheekbone? What are you looking forward to in 2020?
(Lou) Our first gig of the year is at The Victoria in Dalston on January 16th! It’s my favourite venue of its size in London and our first time playing it. Twelve months ago we wouldn’t have been ready for such a gig so we’d loved to continue achieving what seemed unthinkable this time last year.
(Nick) 2020 I'm looking forward to getting ourselves out there, playing as many gigs or festivals as we can to get ourselves heard, and also finishing off some songs we’ve been working on and recording others that we have been sitting on for a while.