Spider Cherry Presents “Little Bit Shy”

Shyness isn’t a characteristic associated with singers. But a pinch of coyness — some strategic reticence — can impart a little mystery and intrigue to the brashest of rockers. British born Nathan Mercado, the artist better known as Spider Cherry, has never had a problem getting noticed. His piano-driven music is bold, tuneful, colorful, instantly memorable, and raucous in all the right places. Yet there’s grace hidden in the swagger and a trace amount of shyness during the storm.

That’s the dynamic that drives “Little Bit Shy,” the single from the South Florida songwriter. It’s a smart, sharply composed track that dances at the intersection between glam-rock, contemporary pop, and carnival music, complete with stuttering piano, danceable beats, and a tasty, distortion-saturated lead guitar. Spider Cherry’s put-downs and pronouncements are passionately delivered; he’s funny, irreverent, and pugnacious, and every bit the model of the confident rock showman.

Nevertheless, at its rapidly thumping heart, the song is an explanation for his wild behavior — and maybe a bit of an apology, too. “Little Bit Shy” leads with an acknowledgment of the singer’s ADHD, and concludes with a cleverly-selected quote from Hot Chip. In between, there’s a river of wine, a floored gas pedal, candy, nightmares, burned-out bulbs, pride, unapologetic hedonism, and a hint of sheepishness, too. “I’m a baby,” Spider Cherry concedes, “but I do not cry.”

He’s not weeping in the clip for “Little Bit Shy,” but he is an infant: an overgrown, bipedal, kitchen-wrecking, and determined to indulge his desires in the most spectacular manner possible. Spider Cherry is a bundle of impulses, interrupting dates, splashing in the bath, and leaving his mother aghast. Director Kid Wonderlust captures this renegade baby on a brilliant, sunlit day — the better to appreciate his antics. Yet it’s also clear that he only becomes a baby when his aspirations are frustrated. Once he transforms from an odd but conventional adult into a raging toddler and crashes from his crib through a wall of blocks, his problems are solved. He steals away the girl he wants and imposes his will on his domestic environment. He’s shy no more. But is a little restraint really so bad?

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