Named after a brilliant red hair dye, Detroit's Outrageous Cherry mixes garage rock, psychedelic and indie pop into a timeless yet distinctive sound. The band started as a recording project in 1992 but blossomed into a full-fledged group when singer/guitarist/producer Matthew Smith (who also performs in the country tinged Volebeats) began performing live backed by a full band in 1993. Outrageous Cherry's wistful noise-pop debuted with a limited-edition 7" of "Pale, Frail Lovely One" on the local Third Gear label. The song's deceptively simple, garagey sound formed the template for the group's style: on albums like 1994's Outrageous Cherry and 1997's Nothing's Gonna Cheer You Up, alternately jangly and feedback-laced guitars and minimalist, floor tom-and-snare drumming combine with sweet vocals for a sound that falls between nostalgic and experimental.
In 1999, the band released the excellent Out There in the Dark on Del-Fi's new music imprint, DF2K. The group also contributed a version of "Keep Everything Under Your Hat" for that year's Skip Spence tribute, More Oar. Outrageous Cherry moved to Alan McGee's Poptones label for 2001's prog- and space rock-influenced The Book of Spectral Projections, which Rainbow Quartz reissued the following year. Outrageous Cherry stayed with that label for their two 2003 releases, Supernatural Equinox and the Stay Right Here for a Little While EP. Another EP, Why Don't We Talk About Something Else, arrived late in 2004, followed by the full-length Our Love Will Change the World in early 2005. The aptly named Stay Happy, which followed in the poppier vein of Our Love Will Change the World, arrived in fall 2006. In 2009, the band released their ninth album, Universal Malcontents, followed quickly the following year by Seemingly Solid Reality. In 2014, Outrageous Cherry returned with Digital Age, a more lo-fi set of songs released by Burger Records. -Heather Phares