Nick Holdorf is the creative mind behind Philly punk band Cheer Up. After stints in other area bands including No Thank You and In the Pines, Holdorf invited long-time friends Evan Bernard and Kaytee Della Monica into the studio, and the result of that collaboration is their debut album Sleep Debt.
I don’t know if Cheer Up would call themselves pop punk or not, because in the genre section of their Facebook page is just a link to a reaction GIF. Either way, “Big Hugs” unravels the fabric of pop punk. Complicated acoustic fretwork bleeds into a tunnel of sound. The track is as radiant as their cheeky band name, and they create a space for you to nestle into, the squeeze of a warm embrace. “Unglued” is sincere and confessional, Holdorf’s voice fraught with apprehension while the music pounds like a nervous heart. It sounds like something you’d hear on an emo throwback night, and clutch a friend’s arm while you yell the lyrics at each other, grinning the whole time.
Cheer Up is rounded out onstage by Thin Lips drummer Mikey Tashjian, and is currently on tour with Thin Lips; they play this Saturday at First Unitarian Church. Grab your tickets here. Listen to the full album below.