Crumb’s latest single “Trophy” seems to be the final departure from the mood that their first EPs had established: warm and carefree, lush with twinkling pianos and whimsical yet endearing vocals. Instead, “Trophy” is a continuation of the much darker sound Crumb introduced on their debut album, Jinx.
2019’s Jinx solemnly took the listener’s hand and led them deep into an album full of tension. Every chord progression, achingly soulful saxophone riff and lyrical utterance was built from a grey and dreary soundscape with eerie, recurring motifs. It was like staring out the window on an infinite roadtrip, driving through black-and-white scenes in the middle of nowhere.
The band’s initial EPs, Crumb and Locket, were brimming with impressive control that brought triumphant swells and gorgeously alleviating releases. Crumb’s remarkable musicianship took this control and put it through emotional filters of heaviness, expressed through intuitive melodies and beautifully fragile vocals. Undeniably intriguing, Jinx marked an abrupt change in the band’s sound. The moody psychedelia that set the stage is carried further by “Trophy”.
Amidst the darkness that seeped into every corner of the world this past year, “Trophy” feels like a reflection of life itself. Singer/guitarist Lila Ramani expresses herself in a voice that seems exhausted. The rhythmic bouncing of the drums often feel like a ticking clock. Indeed, the introspective lyrics allude to sickness and loneliness: “The test came back/it said you’re prone/to chew yourself right to the bone/I guess you don’t like to be alone”, sings Ramani, finishing off with a chilling surrender of “That’s just the way it goes, that’s just the way it goes, that’s just the way it goes”, which is repeated into an abyss of vocal distortion, cascading guitar riffs and crashing drums.
“Trophy” is the next lamp lit in the dark tunnel, sending listeners deeper on Crumb’s entrancing and mysterious path.