There are some blurry ideas about the origins of Valentine’s Day, but you get the odd Christian martyr, such as the Saint Valentine who restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer and another who inspired a feast on 14 February* established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. In 18th Century England courtly love drove the act of gift giving and motifs of lovebirds, cupid and hearts flourished. Apart from the less romantic Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929 where seven mobsters were gunned down in a garage, it’s grown into a billion-dollar industry ($1.45 billion in 2020) so it’s no wonder that from the end of every January we are up to our neck in flowers, hearts, chocolates and teddy bears so cute they could dissolve calcium.
So, it’s refreshing that the release of ‘Kisses On My Card’ by new Alcopop! signing Cherym comes with a special anti-Valentine’s day message (see below) from Northern Ireland’s Hannah, Nyree and Alannagh which includes the rhyme “Roses are red, violets are blue, stream ‘Kisses On My Card’, if Valentine’s isn’t for you”. Vocalist Hannah Richardson says that the track “is a power pop banger about my hot bi-sexual self falling in love with a guy for the first time in a long time 🤢” and “It’s an anthem for all hot stubborn gays of the world feeling the emotional pressures of admitting to an attraction without the whole ‘my mate wants to know will you kiss her?’ routine 🤣💖💜💙 .”.
Once again Alcopop! have demonstrated their knack for being expert detectorists for pop precious metal. ‘Kisses On My Card’ is a 3-minute slice of heaven which opens with some gentle teasing from low slung bass and guitar before the punishing kiss of a chorus that’s wall to wall guitars and floor to ceiling bliss. Cherym have packed so much into this song that if it were a suitcase it would take at least 3 people sitting on it in order to fasten the zip. There is a recurring 3-beat stomp, a red-hot guitar riff, the exuberant drive of bang on drums, a flurry of stop-starts, a drop and a slowdown which all add up to a recipe that could be taught right now in Cordon-Bleu Pop Highschool. Confection perfection!
Review by Paul F Cook
*Fun fact: February comes from the Latin februum, meaning ‘purification’