Aug 7, 2023
A little bit Riot Grrrl mixed with female sensitivity
Growing up as a teen in the 90s, I idolized musicians such as Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo, Gwen Stefani, Lisa Loeb, and Monique Powell from Save Ferris. Their vocals were powerful, their lyrics were poignant, and their style was unmatched. One could even say they encompassed the softer side of the Riot Grrrl aesthetic by showing vulnerability and femineity. In a nod to revisiting that period, new generations of female musicians are taking the reins and paving the way for this latest wave of 90s nostalgia currently hitting us, and one female lead has such a strong presence that I feel she will be the one to reignite the female powerhouse movement in rock music. Her name is Candace Schur.
With beauty that rivals Debbie Harry from Blondie, Candace is a hair stylist by day and a kick-ass frontwoman by night. She is gorgeous, fierce, and strong. Her beauty is not just surface level, though. No, her beauty lies also in her lyrics and delivery of her songs. Her energy is so intense that you can feel it radiating as she sings. Her songs are ones I could envision myself as a teenager singing along to in my room when feeling despondent and alone.
With intricately constructed tunes showcasing themes of angst and redemption, Schur is the lead singer of the indie grunge/alt band Candy Cavity out of New Jersey. I was fortunate to learn of her music recently from a friend and one listen was all it took; I was instantly hooked.
With songs such as “Not Over It”, which talks about not being able to move forward after a break-up just yet, Schur writes from a relatable perspective about love and loss. We’ve all been there … break-ups. They are terrible and they gut you, but from the teenage girl's perspective, they are traumatizing. “Not Over It” is truly the perfect song to be the soundtrack for a love lost in the wildly formative years of adolescence.
On another favorite track of mine, “What You’re Missin’”, the sexy and fierce lyrics make you want to say, “Ya know, I could kick your ass if I wanted to.” The song is upbeat and fuzzy and in-your-face rock.
I wanted to learn more about the woman behind the music, so I reached out to Candace. She and I had the most enjoyable conversation and I instantly connected to her free spirit and vibe. Check out a little bit of our conversation below.
MaM: Thank you so much for talking with me today. Your voice is incredible, and I love your look. It all just goes together so well. What year did the band form and how did it initially come together?
CS: My first band I was in was called Girl, which I formed with a boyfriend at the time. When the band broke up, he took the drummer and I took the bass player, who was also a drummer, too. After that, I had to change the name of the band, but I was the core holding it together. I decided to call the band Candy Cavity. The name of the band had been stored in my memory from math class my sophomore year in high school when I’d be sitting in class just doodling pictures of me fronting an all-girl rock band. It just popped into my mind when I needed a new band name.
MaM: So, what year did Candy Cavity actually form?
CS: 2018 – I can’t remember if our first show was in 2019, though, but it was definitely 2018 when the band formed.
MaM: As far as your vocal styling goes, I love your singing voice. It reminds me of Brody Dalle from The Distillers meets Debbie Harry meets Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo, but who do you cite as your ultimate inspiration for what you do?
CS: Growing up, my parents were not big on rock music. My dad listened to mellow 70’s rock—more so like Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young—but he also liked Tina Turner and Alanis Morissette. My mom was more into dance and pop music, but she was all over the place, too. I wasn’t into rock until my teens, just because I hadn’t really been introduced to it, so this was in the early 2000’s and punk and emo was big then … bands like Newfound Glory and The Starting Line and Taking Back Sunday. Green Day was huge. Pop punk was big for me and is what I got into first, but then I started playing acoustic music and I played it for a long time, but I wanted to switch to an electric sound.
The songs that I started writing weren’t very good, but I started writing songs when I was 13 and I hid out with all of that, but I don’t think many knew I played guitar. I sang in chorus in high school and any opportunity I was given to sing extra, I took it. I joined this church choir, too, just so I could do more singing. I also took vocal lessons, but I knew I always wanted to take my singing to another level. I didn’t want to be seen as a folk artist, though. When I first started, the songs did end up taking on more of a folk vibe, but there was a point where Riot Grrrl bands were a huge influence for me—bands like Bikini Kill and Letters to Cleo.
MaM: I love, and I mean, LOVE Bikini Kill and Letters to Cleo. Kathleen Hanna is an icon. Kay Hanley is amazing.
CS: Yeah, I actually saw them not too long ago. I went to the city to go see them. They’re great! Veruca Salt inspires me, too. Good Charlotte, too, believe it or not. I got into them when I was really young. I was always drawn to the band’s energy, and I wanted to put on a show with music that people could dance to and really get into.
MaM: What do you say inspires your lyrical content?
CS: Life experiences, but I have written some songs that are fabricated. It will start with one idea and then I just build on it. I have this one song called “Happy New Year’s.” I wrote the song kidding around because I have this cousin who is in and out of jail, but I wrote the song from the perspective of his wife. A good amount of my songs draw from real experiences, though.
MaM: If you could share the stage with anybody or any band, who would it be?
CS: Number one would be Blondie. Number two would be Garbage.
MaM: I love Shirley Manson with every fiber of my being. (laughs) Ever since 9th grade of high school, Garbage has been one of my favorite bands.
CS: You know who else? L7!
MaM: Yes! I love L7 so much!
CS: I love angst bands so much. But then I also like ones with the glam aspect, too. You know what I mean?
MaM: Oh, definitely! We are so in sync! Where do you see yourself headed in the future with the band?
CS: I want to play shows with bigger crowds, and I want my songs to be relatable and honest for other people and you do what you do, and you put it all out there and you go, that’s all good, and great, but how do I get to the next level? That’s kind of where I’m at right now.
To experience the music of Candy Cavity for yourself, hit one of the links below! You’ll be locking yourself in your bedroom singing along at the top of your lungs while having teenage daydreams of hot guys.
Spotify: Candy Cavity | Spotify
Apple Music: Candy Cavity on Apple Music
*cover photo by Jeff Crespi www.jeffcrespirocks.com
Nicole Brice wishes she could decorate her bedroom with female musician posters, but she’s pretty sure her husband would get mad. She is always on the lookout for the next great female musician to discover, so if you have something you think she should check out, e-mail her at email@example.com.