Cheem: A Hartford Band That Refuses To Be Constrained

Regulars at Connecticut DIY spaces will likely know Cheem (vocalist Sam Nazaretian, singer/guitarist Skye Holden, guitarist Gabriel Weitzman, drummer Sean Thomas and bassist RJ Briggs), a Hartford-area band with several tours and recordings under its belt.

Once pegged as emo, Cheem’s sound evolved quickly, weaving in elements of math rock, punk, hip-hop and melodic neo-soul. “Downhill,” a 15-track album released by Whelmed Records in October, thrives on the jittery electro-funk of “Mumble,” the melodic power-pop of “Jacuzzi” and the frantic guitar energy of “Freakazoid,” while “Kate” shows off the complimentary vocal abilities of Nazaretian and Holden. If anything, Cheem seems unwilling to be constrained by what’s expected.

Holden and Thomas sat down for a podcast with Courant music writer Mike Hamad to discuss all things Cheem. Studio tracks from “Downhill” include “Freakazoid” (0:00), “Kate” (9:57) and “Jacuzzi” (27:58). Stream and purchase Cheem’s music at

CHEEM performs at Infinity Hall in Hartford on April 15 at 7:30 p.m., with Bonsai Trees and Queen Moo. Tickets are $15 to $34.

Press Play is a column by music writer Michael Hamad exploring the underground musicians of Connecticut. If you have new music to share, send it to him at

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