New Sounds: Cardinals peel back their pop-punk layers with the acoustic ‘When I’m Gone’


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As a genre, pop-punk is often maligned and unnecessarily criticized. But peel back the layers of its sound and there’s something purer, and damn-right catchier, than the majority of manufactured pop songs wasting space on the mainstream charts.

As it turns out, doing a bit of peeling back is common for Boston re-emerging duo Cardinals.

Formerly operating as a quartet named Tighticus Finch, the band not only switched monikers late last year, but also found core members Emily Ronna (vocals) and CJ Rarela (guitar) losing the bandmates around them. The whirlwind of changes allowed Ronna and Rarela to hit the re-start button, and the process began with an acoustic EP in January titled Aftertaste, which stripped down the sound minted with a bit more pop-punk punch on 2016 Tighticus Finch release Temperamental.

The standout track from those records remains lead single “When I’m Gone,” and today Cardinals have released a new video for the acoustic version, directed by Danni Siminerio. Watch it below.

“We had released a music video for the full version last year and thought it would be fun to make one for the acoustic version,” Ronna tells Vanyaland. “It’s a bit of a throwback, but also accentuates on who we are now and what we’re working with.”

After playing O’Brien’s Pub in Allston last night, Cardinals wrap up their spring mini-tour of New England the Tri-State Area this Friday (April 14) at Asbury Park Music Foundation in New Jersey. “Having an acoustic stint ended up being more of a necessity rather than a choice, but it’s been fun,” Ronna adds. “We plan on being full band again very soon though!”