For Cash. With love.
I have endless pieces of paper in my room and notes on my phone about bands I’ve listened to, and need to write about. There’s one band in particular that had come to my attention but I had stupidly not done anything. I’d put it aside until I felt I had the words. A tragic circumstance brings me to this. If you’ve read about what happened in Oakland, you will know that the world lost one of its most beautiful and most angelic souls- Cash Askew from the wonderful band, Them Are Us Too. I wish I had written about them sooner but more importantly, like anyone else- I wish that what happened didn’t happen. Upset to one side, I’m going to write about the music. That’s what can and will pull us all through.
Them Are Us Too are the other side of what I regard as my perfect band. Of course I love anything that sounds like it was kicked out onto the streets of New York City in ’76 but I also absolutely love bands that sound like Cold Cave, Tamaryn and Depeche Mode- anything like that will easily get my attention and will always have it. Them Are Us Too remind me of so many bands I love that fall into this category. Entirely dreamy, gentle and just a beautiful way to escape whatever is in your mind. Everything that they stand for and all they represent is entirely beautiful and I hope that wherever Cash is now, she is spreading the joy she left here and the beauty she brought to there. Sometimes you just hear or see something, and this overwhelming feeling hits you. That’s what I got with Them Are Us Too when I first heard them. I felt like I had stepped into a world that not everyone knows but once they experience it, it’s a feeling that lasts a lifetime.
I’ve spent my day at work listening to Them Are Us Too, and I’ve had what I wanted to say about them swirling in my mind all day. I feel that they are a band that, words will never be enough to truly describe them. There are no words great enough to describe how their music makes you feel as if you are having something similar to an outer body experience. The sounds and the vocals are so soothing, so gentle on the soul. You are hit with a wave of acceptance when you listen to them and for me, that’s such a huge and rare thing to find. I didn’t know Cash but as a fan, these words are my tribute to her. At only 22 years old, she made the world beautiful with the music she and Kennedy made. They both created this world with their sound that bands who have been going decades strive to find. They did it almost instantly.
I think with bands like Them Are Us Too any genre you attach to them is just entirely pointless. You can mention slight influences but for me, I don’t want to listen to something that succumbs to the label that they are given. Cash and Kennedy didn’t fall into that trap with their music. Remain is one of the most underrated records over the past couple of years or so. It has something so deep inside of it that just makes you feel like you’re the only one who has heard it. You feel as if you’re the only one who knows them. You feel as if they have sneaked into your room and gently dripped their hypnotising sounds into your ear. No one will believe you when you tell them such beauty exists. Kennedy’s voice takes you off into a dream, and you don’t want to come back from it.
The heart aches. The mind is working double time. Nothing makes sense now. It just feels strange, the bad kind of strange. The world doesn’t seem as bright as it once was. We have the music. Repeat.
Before I wrap this up, I’d just like to mention how Remain is one of those records you play when you want to feel at ease, when you feel the need to turn off from the world and onto something else. It possess sounds that are made to be heard at 3am when the world is sleeping but your mind is racing. More than ever before, they are the kind of band I am leaning on for my own personal internal battles. Every sound, every word, every note, every little detail is a caress to the soul. I know it is a generic thing to say but they truly are a gentle band.
For the love Cash, for the memory of Cash and those who tragically lost their lives- play the music as loud as you can and find your own version of home in it.
We have the music. We have each other x
*photo by Kristin Cofer.