Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
The shadows that make their way into Crystal Fighters songs aren't how we'd normally see them. They would do little good in concealing anything. They're not meant for hiding or lying low. They're somehow a hybrid of shadow that's mostly bright yellow sun. It could just be that the shadows here are capable of blinding and less likely to just shroud. They're more likely to give sun-stroke, but they're still attractive as potential hideouts. It's something of an interesting twist, but it fits with the way that the London-based group goes about its business.
Resembling the emerging-from-a-frost warming sounds of Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, Crystal Fighters take us into the side-winding chambers of the heart, where the beats and the clankings can keep you up all night long and give you the feeling of not having any appetite during the daytime. They make you feel that it's never going to get overly bright and it's never going to get overly dark for longer than you can handle.
These stories feature people who are paddling along on a lifeboat, pretty sure that they're heading in the direction of dry and safe land, but there is a chance that they'll be out there adrift for longer than they ever could imagine. Lead singer Sebastian Pringle is great at portraying the lost man - the guy who is certainly going to find struggling to be his chief preoccupation all through his life. He sings, "In you I lost my soul." It's not comforting to have such a sense, it doesn't seem. It's lost there indefinitely and there's not much that can be done about it. No one's really able to help and it just gets worse when he sings, "I left alone/I left the world, I was runnin'/To be by your side/I was dyin'/Alone by your side." May there be something like a shadow to cover and comfort this poor man.