Saturday, October 09, 2021

Cuffed Up's 'Bonnie' is The Anti-Love Anthem We Never Knew We Needed

It’s not long now till LA-based quartet Cuffed Up release their second EP ‘Asymmetry’. In the meantime, we’ve been given a little insight for what to expect with their latest track, ‘Bonnie’. 

Cuffed Up emerged through a "chance encounter" between Sapphire Jewell and Ralph Torrefranca, as revealed on their bandcamp.

Their shared appreciation for UK bands such as IDLES and Shame became a catalyst for starting their own, with Joe Liptock and Vic Ordonez joining not long after.

What was initially a passion project rapidly evolved into a full-time job. In 2019, Cuffed Up released their first double A side, ‘Mother/Father + Small Town Kid’ and in 2020, they debuted their self-titled EP. Since then, they’ve risen in popularity in both the US and UK. 

Cuffed Up’s latest single ‘Bonnie’ is raw and angsty in all the right ways. A reimagining of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde saga, the song uses this as the foundations to navigate themes of revenge and heartbreak. "This is explored through the eyes of Bonnie, in an alternative universe where Clyde selfishly leaves Bonnie for dead," the band revealed in a press release.

This twist on the narrative is expressed through the lyrics, where during the verses Ralph and Sapphire exchange vocals in a conversation-like way. Here, we're able to get this reimagined perspective on the infamous characters and their damaging relationship: "strike one - when it’s all on me and there’s nowhere else to run to/ strike two - and I tell the lies of a compromised being/ strike three - didn’t mean to fight back is it alright that I can’t tell the truth?" The use of subversive storytelling in 'Bonnie' is evocative, and provides us with a new outlook on this classic tale.

The sense of heartbreak and revenge that 'Bonnie' creates is strongly conveyed by the use of shared vocals, as well as the punchy drum beats, gritty basslines and stellar solos. The track is very much rooted in, and strongly inspired by the 90s alt-rock and grunge scene, but it still feels modern. And what's better yet, the song is paired with an awesome gender-bending music video directed by Ralph himself.

The track has been described as an "anti-love anthem" by the band, and it certainly doesn't fall short of that. We just never knew we needed it - till now. And with their upcoming EP out on October 22nd, we can't wait to hear what else Cuffed Up has for us. 

Náoimí Johanna


Image: 'Asymmetry' Official EP Artwork


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