Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Return of Crystal Castles

This week was notable for the return to live performance of long-time blog favourites Crystal Castles, aka Ethan Kath and new vocalist Edith Frances. The shows on Tuesday and Wednesday at Electrowerkz in London marked the (new) duo’s first* outings since charismatic vocalist Alice Glass left “the band” in late 2014.

Further dates have been booked across the USA in the months ahead, including an appearance at the SXSW Festival, with a return to the UK for the Reading Festival tentatively earmarked for August.

The new incarnation of Crystal Castles has already produced a couple of demo singles in the form of ‘Frail’ and ‘Deicide’ (clip below), but reports that Kath has been working alongside Frances on an album since April of last year have yet to amount to anything more substantial.

And while there was a certain chemistry between Kath and Glass that will be difficult to replicate, the reality is the real musical talent behind the project always belonged to Kath, with Glass’s frequently-chopped voice and live antics merely supplementary to the producer’s wider composition wizardry.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what eventuates in the year ahead, both in the studio and on stage, but everythingsgonegreen is salivating a little at the prospect of this latest “comeback”, just when it looked like all was lost. It now looks like the new pairing is starting to develop some real forward momentum.
For her own part, since the split, Alice Glass self-released the charity-single ‘Stillbirth’ in mid-2015, but little has been seen or heard from her since.
(* not including a short DJ set (by Ethan) and a few songs (for Edith's live debut) in Johannesburg back in November 2015 ...)

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