Acid Cherry’s latest offering “Prisoner” is a hauntingly visceral exploration of the terrifying realities of sleep paralysis, delivered with an unapologetic edge that will leave you shaking in your boots.
Acid Cherry has released their new track Prisoner, a fittingly nightmarish rumination on the struggles that come with sleep paralysis. The single — which marks the Brisbane band’s first release of 2023 — opens with a groovy bassline courtesy of Joey Bartulis, as vocalist Brooke Beauchamp sings in grungy vocals of a particularly restless evening. “A prisoner to my bed,” Beauchamp wails ahead of the clamorous hook, “paranoia sets in while the time, it ticks.”
While veering on the heavier side, there’s an infectious pop-punk quality to Prisoner that arrives at the song’s chorus — flanked by Zoe Middleton’s screechy and jagged guitar strums and the thunderous drums of Nicole Poh. Masterfully evoking its subject matter, Prisoner’s collective, noisy instrumentation gives voice to the anguish of sleep paralysis, with only brief reprieves in the form of a quieter bridge.
Here, Beauchamps’ vocals soften as the tempo slows, with lyrics promising to “get a grip on yourself.” Whatever calmness the protagonist finds towards the song’s latter half is ultimately short lived, however, as Acid Cherry amplify their efforts atop a screamo-laden final chorus. “I’m never lonely when I’m paralysed,” Beauchamp howls, holding the note well into Prisoner’s raucous final moments. Prisoner ends just as abruptly as the nightmare scene it details, leaving the listener with the lingering viscerality of a fever dream.
Speaking of the track in a press statement, Acid Cherry said Prisoner was “pulled from a personal place,” and chronicles “the inner dialogue of a teen experiencing sleep paralysis.” Such confident songwriting and mastery of their sound — equal parts 90s grunge and aughties nu-metal — is perhaps to be expected from Acid Cherry, given the band’s genesis on the back of doubt from their fellow music peers.
The four-piece was formed after Beauchamp “was told by a previous band [I] worked with that ‘women can’t play heavy music,’” the singer recalled. “Little did they know, their comment would be the catalyst for the formation of the all-female band.” With their current discography as evidence, Acid Cherry has more than proved themselves worthy contenders in the heavy metal scene, having released their debut EP Nyctophilia last year.
Elsewhere, the Brisbane band will celebrate the release of Prisoner with an official launch event at Tomcat in Fortitude Valley on April 15, where they’ll be joined by support acts Chiffon Magnifique, Foul Face and Mitch, Please. In the meantime, listen to Acid Cherry’s new single Prisoner below.