A lot has changed in Prima Queen’s recent history. Upon releasing their debut single “Milk Teeth”, the band joined The Big Moon’s sold-out UK tour, took to the stage at Green Man Festival with their two new members, and have since signed to notorious tastemaker label Nice Swan Records – marking them out as favourites for the left-field grooves that constitute the sound of “Chew My Cheeks”.
The track is Prima Queen’s third release, but they once again display a symbiosis between the group’s two leaders, Louise Macphail and Kristin McFadden, who combine the diverse sense of cool of their respective hometowns (Bristol, UK and Chicago, USA) to create a rich sound.
The viscerally sensory title is the first hint as to the slightly disconcerting nature of the song – suggesting anxiety, apprehension, anticipation – and Prima Queen continue this energy throughout the instrumentals. For the most part, the track is restrained almost to breaking point, merely a breeze of guitar in the background alongside shivers of percussion and vocals that teeter between poignant falsetto and cool murmurs.
It’s subtle but there are hints of a powerful force bubbling underneath. The most pop-leaning moment of “Chew My Cheeks” is unleashed in the final bridge with a crooning guitar melody coming to the forefront under a vocal refrain of “you make it easy”.
“Chew My Cheeks is a song that centres on an unhealthy obsession with someone who is slightly out of reach,” the group share. “We wrote it in lockdown last year when we were remembering what it was like to idealise people you don’t know and to use them as a form of escapism. We ended up watching The Matrix in isolation together around the same time and were really inspired by the world in which the movie creates.”
Produced by The Big Moon, Prima Queen continues “It was incredible being able to work with The Big Moon since they’ve been such a big inspiration to us and we look up to them so much. They really understood our vision for the song and we were so impressed with how they were able to bring it to life.”