What's In Your Fridge: Chersea

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      What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators. 


      On the grill



      Who are you

      Hi, I’m a lover of amateur geology, herbalism, monochromatic colour schemes and donuts. I also play, write, produce, perform, and teach music. 


      First concert

      Panic! At The Disco at the Pacific Coliseum with Bloc Party and Jack’s Mannequin in 2006. Sadly, Bloc Party was replaced by Cobra Starship because Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung at a show somewhere in the States. I was crushed Bloc Party wasn’t going to be there. I loved Panic, but BP’s album Silent Alarm was nearly the anthem to my life for about two years. I still listen to it at times where I’m feeling extra angsty. Anyway, the show was a wild circus-fueled dream featuring some weird dominatrix themed theatrics I hadn’t really understood at the time. I went to get my nose pierced with my mom months prior and decided it’d be a good idea to go into the pubescent “mosh pit” in GA and bop around. I had dropped my brand new Panic shirt so I bent down to grab it not knowing that you should generally keep your elbows up in that kind of party. On my way up my nose got slammed by some older guy’s elbow and my nose started spouting blood. It was real dramatic. I ran to the bathroom and had to shove paper towels in my nose to stop the bleeding and everyone was giving me high-fives. After some ego-boosting from the emo-pop clergy in the bathroom I raced back to the crew with blood staining my clothes, my face, and my new T-shirt. And that will forever be the only moment I have ever been a badass. 


      Life-changing concert

      Joanna Newsom at the Vogue Theatre in 2010. You know when you fantasize about seeing an artist in concert, and you finally get to and it just blows your mind? That’s what happened. After begging my folks for a week to lend me the money to make it to the show-which was two-times the face value of the original tickets-my sister and I sat down in our “upper-circle” seats. She had a seven-piece ensemble to back her up including a small strings and brass section which made the band kid in me ecstatic. She played some of my favourite tracks from her album Have One On Me and I was sitting there in awe with my sister. Halfway through “Good Intentions Paving Co.” I looked over at her and we were both in tears…which was kind of weird because it’s one of the more hype songs on the album. It just moved me to the core; her voice, her instrumentation, her storytelling. I would paid three hundred bucks to see that show again (ie.10 times face value). 


      Top three records

      This is nearly impossible to answer, but I’ll name three I really really love. 


      Imogen Heap Ellipse This album took me on a production journey through her vlogs. I watched her create the album and waited nearly two years for its release. She’s a mastermind at using found sounds/objects and used everything from the sounds of a shower to the drop of a drip in a tub, to nails sticking out of wood acting as a homemade kalimba of sorts, to the rims of crystal wine-glasses creating ambient swirling sounds. Her arrangement on the track “Earth” really inspired me to approach vocal harmonies in her tight-knit sampling and variations. She’s definitely one of my musical heroes. 


      Andrew Judah Metanoia This album is pure genius and his live show is even better. If there’s one artist I could watch over and over and over again and never get bored, Andrew Judah would be the guy. This album takes you on an emotional journey through space and time; sometimes throwing you into some alternative purgatory-esque abyss (“Interloper”) and bringing you back and grounding you with the most simple, yet masterfully curated love song (“Fool in Love”). "Through You", "Interloper", and "Fear" are my top three favourite tracks on this album.


      Sufjan Stevens Age of Adz  Probably the most listened to album on my iTunes. In my late teens I went through some pretty hard shit and this album brought me through it all. The music provided a dissociative soundscape that allowed me to check-out for a second and reflect on everything that had been happening. It helped me heal through trauma, death, transitioning, and the beginning of what became a lengthy mental health journey. Take a listen if you’re needing an escape. It continues to be a deep breath of fresh air when I need to put everything else on pause. 


      All-time favourite video   

      Portishead “The Rip”  The choppy animation and the eerie yellow grainy texture throughout provides an excellent backdrop for the acid-trip storyline. It’s hard to describe it, you just have to see it. For years this song has been my depression anthem. Beth Gibbons is a beautifully sad writer, and it makes her stage performance and singing so easy to connect with in times of emotional difficulty. They also use a variety of synthesizers to sample and create new sounds by doing a lot of digital/analogue cross-over experimentation; which is something I love to do as well. Lastly, one of my best friends showed me this song’s video back in university. He lives far away now and whenever I miss him, I watch it and feel like we’re back eating sushi and laying on a single mattress in our dirty living room. 


      What’s in your fridge

      Cheese. There’s provolone, cheddar (american, marbled, aged), asiago, parmesan, pecorino, cream cheese, Boursin, mozzarella, gruyere, friuolano, roquefort, Grandma Singletons creamy cranberry cheese, feta, Squeekers cheese curds, and ricotta. I literally took the cheeses out one by one to ensure I didn’t miss anything. I think I might have a bit of a problem. 


      Dates and almond milk. These two items don’t really seem like they go hand in hand, but I love to make chocolate peanut butter protein shakes and naturally sweetening them by throwing in a couple dates. They’re f**king delicious. FYI: I don’t drink almond milk because of a dairy allergy. I think I just use almond milk because it makes me feel a bit better about all of the cheese I eat. 


      I’ll tell you what’s not in my fridge-those Innofoods chocolate almond clusters from Costco. I sleepwalk sometimes and have been known to destroy entire bags in my sleep. I’ll wake up to what looks like a Jackson Pollock painting all over my white sheets. There’ll be chocolate under my nails and all over my face-it’s a crime scene. So they have been removed from the fridge to an undisclosed location so as to avoid the carnage. 


      You can listen to Chersea's debut album, In Limbo, here.