Album: Cherry Marmalade (2002)
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  • The first song Kay Hanley wrote for her solo album, Cherry Marmalade, was about the demise of her band Letters To Cleo, who had just toured in support of their last full-length album, Go! As she was questioning the fate of the band, she also found out she was pregnant, which gave her the courage to face her feelings head on through the song.

    "That was a revelation for me because it's one of the saddest songs I've ever written," Hanley explained in a 2022 Songfacts interview.

    "That was about the journey coming home from the end of the Go! tour for Cleo. It was a bummer. We were all bummed. The record did not do well. I was partying my ass off. We were all drifting in different directions. None of us were having a great time. I didn't know what I was going to do next, personally.

    Usually when I'm going through something like that, I don't have any capacity to write about it. I think that with something really sad, if I write about it, it will take me over. But I was in such a crazily optimistic place because of being pregnant and feeling healthy and clean, I felt like I could write about all this hard stuff because it couldn't touch me, and I could face it head on. 'Galapagos' was the first song I wrote, and it was the most honest thing that I'd ever written up until that point, and it feels that way. It was an important milestone for me, that song."
  • By the time the album dropped in 2002, Letters To Cleo had already been broken up for two years. They reunited for occasional gigs, including an appearance on the season 6 finale of Parks and Recreation, but didn't record any new material until the 2016 Back To Nebraska EP. In the meantime, Hanley found a career in composing and recording music for kids' shows, including Disney's Doc McStuffins and Netflix's Ada Twist, Scientist.


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