Soft Cheese – “Bad News”


Touting consuming production with haunting vocals and echoing, nostalgic guitars, “Bad News” captures a feeling reminiscent of ’90s grunge and alternative. Portland, OR act Soft Cheese kick off their newly released self-titled LP with the track. Lyrical sentiments of bad news and pleas to “please keep your distance,” relay feelings of unrequited love, reverberating aptly with the emotive croon and buzzy guitars. A blistering series of guitars take hold in the final 30 seconds, bringing to a satisfying, crackling conclusion. The rest of Soft Cheese entrances as well; in particular, “Good Boy” consumes with a ghostly bridge that evolves into an excellent, distortion-friendly chorus. The release shows a sound that consistently engages, digging into grunge, alternative, and shoegaze with melodic savvy.

Further details on the track and its themes below:

“”Bad News” was initially written for a solo acoustic bedroom project, but once Soft Cheese formed it turned into a bigger Cocteau Twins inspired dream-pop anthem. It really came together in the studio with the help of producer Cameron Spies, layering chorus-echo drenched guitars together with atmospheric synth, huge bass and drums, and haunting harmonized vocals. As the first track on the debut LP, it sets the scene and sound for the rest of the album.

The song is about ego loss in the context of unrequited love and the realization that someone’s attention is not for them at all. It was initially written from a romantic point of view, but the lyrics are vague enough to be applied to any unwanted advances or disconnect. The chorus, “Hugh, I’ve got bad news. Hugh, It’s not for you”, can be understood as a self-dialog loop – something to be turned over in the brain and processed as the realization takes hold. It might come from a negative place, but overall it’s about the process of loss and moving on to better things.”

“Bad News” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of January 2021’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Rock.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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