This sweet summer single by Hamilton songwriter Ariana Fig takes on an outsider’s perspective.
Hamiltonian indie-pop singer-songwriter Ariana Fig not only released a seven-track album this year, but the hard-at-work musician is returning only months later with a brand new fruit flavoured summer single called “Cherry Coke.” Taking inspiration from alt-pop and classic rock legends, the artist chose to wrote from a stranger’s perspective for her latest drop.
“I would normally describe my sound as a singer-songwriter first and foremost, because that’s what I am,” said Fig. “If we wanted to get deep about it, I could say I lean into indie folk sounds and indie pop the most.”
Fig has found recent inspiration in the Canadian alt-rock legend Alanis Morissette after the musician watched the documentary Jagged Little Pill.
“I was blown away by how this girl with so much love to give had so much pain in her words. She performed them night after night, and while I would find that terrifying, she made it seem like it was healing,” said Fig. “Billy Joel has and always will be one of my first true loves in the realm of songwriting. His song, “Where’s The Orchestra” from The Nylon Curtain album is one of the best things my ears have heard, or “Why Judy Why” from his first album, Cold Spring Harbor. It’s the way his songs sound like they’re from another reality, but it’s entirely about our own.”
Lately the artist has taken a liking to a Norwegian musician named Thea Wang, whose 2022 album While He Is Still Asleep paints an intimate portrait of a relationship.
“I really admire the way she uses dialogue and conversational perspective in her work,” said Fig. “Rather than having this one-sided perspective of this three-dimensional person.”
“Cherry Coke” was written at the end of Fig’s final semester of university, for an assignment from a creative writing class with Canadian artist Ivan Coyote. Each week Fig was assigned to update her portfolio with 1000 words, so she chose to write songs.
“It was the twelfth song out of the semester, and was submitted last,” said Fig. “I wrote it in the practice rooms at Western with Ben Heffernan, he just started playing chords and it was almost like just having him there took some of the artistic pressures off my back. I started singing the line, “Cherry Coke on the table, dancing around the floor,” under my breath, and it stuck with us both. In total it took us about an hour and a half to fully write it down.”
The singer-songwriter would describe her newest single as a, “nostalgic indie-folk waltz.”
“This song was never written from my own perspective, I’m not sure whose perspective it is to be honest with you, but I just feel this person being ill at ease,” said Fig. “I think this song touches on people and their habits and their crutches to get through stressful times. Cherry Coke can be so many things to so many different people, and I think that this song is coming from this secondary point of view. There is a relaxed and contained sense of being removed from a situation but ultimately knowing it’s better this way.”
Ben Heffernan, who helped Ariana write the single, produced the track in his home studio. Fig performed the violin and vocal parts, and the duo invited Isaac Lee to record the cello bits.
“It was nice to just heavily focus on one track right after putting out an EP, it felt way less daunting, and to do it with the same people who made that EP sound the way it does was also a level of comfort that made me feel like this was a song worth sharing,” said Fig. “Sarah MacDougall mixed this for us, and she has been so supportive of my work it only felt right to have her ears on this project. There’s no one who understands my gibberish notes about a mix better than her. Mariana Hutten Czapski mastered this song as well, and just took it to this whole other level of high quality.”
Fig doesn’t want to tell her fans how to feel about her latest track- she hopes her listeners are able to interpret the song for themselves.
“If someone relates to a melody or a phrase, I’m nothing but grateful and honestly intrigued by what they hear vs. what I do,” said Fig. “I do just hope people can find some sort of comfort in a song like this.”
“I am in the process of having merch released soon, so to stay up to date on when that will be!” said Fig.