Having previously charmed our ears with their debut album Beautiful and True, Portland’s indie jangle pop band The Crystal Furs have spent their career channelling their growth as individuals and as a group into their music. Their sound reflects the shifting, unpredictable nature of life and deftly changes with each curveball thrown. Their two new tracks, ‘Miss Hughes’ and ‘Please Fade Away’ show that same keenness to embrace change and throw the full weight of their creativity behind their own growth.
Both songs are built on a foundation of The Crystal Furs’ ’60s-inspired pop sound, with high lilting vocals harmonising over a chirpy combination of strings and keyboard. This is complemented by a more contemporary-sounding reverb and deep bass, blending the old and new styles in a way that marry together to create something unique and exciting.
‘Miss Hughes’ opens with the rich boom of an organ, striking a decisive and powerful note that rumbles beneath the lighter vocals and strings as they jump in. You can feel the vintage influences soaking into the sound in the way the harmonies dance around each other, as the delightfully simple yet immersive riffs play around the chord progression. The reverb lends an almost club-like vibe to the track underlying the chirpy upbeat singing, which creates a fun contrast that sees the two styles balance each other out into a playful whole.
‘Please Fade Away’ is another wonderfully constructed song, playing off vocals teeming with attitude against that same bright ‘60s sound. The vocals are absolutely fantastic, with the relatable premise of wishing someone would stop being so clingy and just disappear. The snark comes through the wording in a way that is effectively juxtaposed against tones that are otherwise very gentle in their sound and rhythm. These seemingly simple structural decisions give the track’s details so much character. The delicate tambourine jingles feel almost sarcastic, so lightly played against the lyrics, given power by the throbbing drums and signature chirping guitars.
Both tracks show an evolution in The Crystal Furs’ sound. The way the more contemporary musical elements enhance the effect of the vintage style gives the songs a distinct and timeless flavour that feels at once familiar, yet novel. Two dreamily uplifting offerings that leave us longing for more of The Crystal Furs’ playfully honey-sweet creations.
Artwork: Kara Buchanan