Star-studded solo acts Cautious Clay, Claud, HXNS, Melanie Faye, Remi Wolf, Still Woozy and Sophie Meiers have come together to release the song “Cheesin,’” with the proceeds going to MusiCares. All singers involved in the collaboration have become indie icons, representing a meeting of the young minds in the rising sector of the industry.
Cautious Clay is the rich voice of a new generation, winning the approval of Taylor Swift, John Mayer and Issa Rae. Claud, known for their hits like “If I Were You,” has toured with the likes of Clairo, The Neighbourhood, girl in red and The Marias. A master of remixes, HXNS creates bold and new sounds from both fan favorites and undiscovered gems. Melanie Faye is a guitarist who has won the ear of SZA and a chance to play on tour with Noname and in sessions with Paramore. A Zane Lowe favorite and Spotify’s “Lorem” playlist early April cover artist, Remi Wolf is a bright spot in the indie-pop industry. Still Woozy was once a niche favorite, but now his garage-made tracks have scored him over 100 million streams on Spotify alone, making him a renowned name for his hits like “Goodie Bag” and “Cooks.” Another young indie-pop songstress, Sophie Meiers has amassed millions of streams for her unique aesthetic and initial Soundcloud stardom.
The song blends the styles of all artists involved. The keyboard could be described in no other way than groovy, having a distinct Still Woozy sound to it. Cautious Clay’s vocals are first — a reminder of the power of his vocals and presence as an artist. He sings, “Now I’m cheesin’ when you blow past/If you take a slice of me that’s all alright with me.” He is singing about someone taking and not giving, emphasizing the double entendre of “cheesin'” – a smile and a block of cheese being eaten away. The song doesn’t slow as Remi Wolf begins, “Oh boy I never see the smile in your eyes/Yea you wear a disguise…” This makes the theme of the song clear, false happiness hidden behind fading smiles. This is illustrated on the cover art, which presents each artist’s smile, along with the smiling title “Cheesin'”. Her voice is raspier and more bouncing than Cautious Clay’s, but the instrumentals remain heavy with the keyboard and light snare.
Cautious Clay repeats the chorus with quick and impressive guitar runs underneath. The quick twinges sound like a musical projection of squiggly lines. Still Woozy sounds indifferent and unemotional, as he sings, “Well it’s not the same in the morning/I’m picking up signs that you’re leavin’,” while Remi Wolf echoes beneath his vocals during an emotional shift. The story comes into the picture. The group is singing the tale of a relationship falling apart, though the sound remains lighthearted and perfect for spring.
The lyrics are pleading. The tone is somewhat carefree like a smile, but the lyrics are the pain hiding behind them. Sophie Meiers vocals add a bit more darkness to the overall sound of the song, emphasizing the pained lyrics’ meanings as she sings, “I don’t know what you want me to say…Can we talk I want you to stay.” Claud continues the feeling of a sunny relationship turned dark and stormy, “I thought that everything was changing/I loved the life that we were making…” The track is lead to an end by Claud, as he finishes with the chorus.
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During the #coronavirus pandemic, the health and livelihood of the people who bring us music are in jeopardy. Through the #COVID19 Relief Fund, we provide support for the producers, engineers, singers, songwriters, musicians, tour and live production crews, and the hundreds more who need help to keep the music playing. For more information and to donate, visit MusiCares.org ❤️
The best part of the song, outside of its infectious energy and tune, is the fact that 100% of all proceeds from every download/stream of “Cheesin’” will be donated to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund provides financial aid to the thousands of music creators and industry professionals who have been deeply impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. As venues shut down, gigs are canceled and studios have shut down, music industry professionals including production crews, techs, small artists and anyone in the music industry who needs to apply for basic living assistance. Every time you stream, watch, buy or make TikToks to “Cheesin’” people in need are helped. MusiCares is an integral organization in the music industry, providing over $66 million dollars to those in need over the past 30 years.
The world may be serious and scary right now, but “Cheesin’” is quite the opposite, proving to be a light delight with an even more positive cause.
Feature image courtesy of Republic Records