FIRST LISTEN: CRISP&CLASSY – ‘XTRA CRISPY’

Feminist LGBTQIA+ electro-pop duo CRISP&CLASSY (aka producer Kat Knix and singer-songwriter Plushy) pride themselves on bringing sexual liberation and self-acceptance to the UK pop scene. Now, having captured our attention earlier this year with vibrant singles, ‘Basic’ and ‘Boom Bay’, and with acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, they’re excited to be releasing their debut album, XTRA CRISPY.

Fusing together an eclectic palette of genres to create something wonderfully uplifting, the collection interweaves funk-fuelled Raggeton beats and synth-driven soundscapes, as sensuous vocals offer an empowering lyricism. So, put on XTRA CRISPY, turn it up, and lose yourself in its blissful, sassy splendour and sparkling, soulful drive.

To celebrate the album’s release, Kat and Plushy have written a few words about what to expect from XTRA CRISPY…

Wanting to release an album with a selection of our best songs has always been a hot burning wish of ours, ever since CRISP&CLASSY came out of our womb. It’s been a big dream to create a body of work that was conceptual and had a sexually liberating message. Alongside our single ‘Boom Bay’, our new album carries seven more tracks that will tickle your senses and make you feel thirsty for more! 

The XTRA CRISPY album is here to celebrate duality and the battle between being sassy or emotional, being punk or pop, being sexy or needy. This album is a gender and genre bending experience. 

With a delicious mix between New York House synths, Reggaeton beats and sassy bass lines, C&C is serving you Fried Futuristic Electric guitars and Luxury Alien Spit in a glass by the beach! XTRA CRISPY takes the sexiness of Kali Uchis and Blood Orange, and pours it over the nerve of Mykki Blanco, Peaches and Prince.

This album is a combination of coping with the pandemic through creativity and tunes that we have been baking in the oven for over four years. Above staying true to the CRISP&CLASSY sound, we wanted to talk about the things that we were going through on a personal level. 

Having a lot of time on his hands, Plushy would be on dating apps like Grindr a lot during lockdown… Therefore, tracks like ‘My Nudes!’ talk about different obscure dating apps related experiences and are here to make you dance, but also encourage you to claim and own your virtual property and your sexuality, alongside tracks like ‘Thursty’. Kat Knix, on the other hand, missed being ‘skin to skin’ with someone and the hope of it leading to something more… So, ‘Spoon’ was born simply out of sexual frustration, along with Kat’s lack of romance and cuddles.

We also love writing about taking charge of your own sexuality; celebrating your sex drive by bringing equality and body positivity to bed with your lover. ‘SML4U’ expresses the frustration of a younger Kat feeling the pressure to shave before sex, in fear of being rejected for being ‘too hairy’ and not ‘feminine enough’.

We also love collaborating with fellow creatives and are lucky to have some special guests on the album. The incredible Jadeya is doing us the honour by embellishing ‘Thursty’ with her demanding and honest lyrics. Her bars are incredible and they add that juicy flavour we’ve always wanted to have on our songs. MEMA. is another talented guest on the album, who is also an incredible guitarist. We owe her a lot for joining us in developing the XTRA CRISPY sound. You can hear MEMA.’s electric guitar riffs on tracks like ‘Infatuated’ and ‘Spoon’. MEMA. helped us achieve that nostalgic and slightly cinematic ’90s sound we’ve always wanted to incorporate in our music.

We hope that XTRA CRISPY will uplift the listener to stand their ground and unapologetically be themselves EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! Escape with us to the CRISP&CLASSY World; a safe haven, where you can be yourself and let your hair down. It’s always summer in the C&C World and here we always have a reason to celebrate ourselves and party hard. Once you’re in, you’ll never want to leave.

Massive thanks to Kat and Plushy for talking to us about XTRA CRISPY! Listen to the full album, for the first time, here:

To celebrate the release of XTRA CRISPY, CRISP&CLASSY will be playing a special launch gig at The Waiting Room next Tuesday 19th October. Tickets available here.

Track Of The Day: Claire Pitt Wigmore – ‘Words’

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing for previous singles, ‘Dreaming (Where Did You Go?)’ and ‘My Nostalgia’, Margate-based multi-instrumentalist Claire Pitt Wigmore has returned to charm our ears with a brand new single.

Oozing a soulful, impassioned energy, ‘Words‘ is an open letter to Claire’s younger self – reflecting on times when she was bullied and sadly experienced LGBTQ+ hate-crime. As twinkling guitar hooks shimmer alongside her rich, emotion-strewn vocals, it oozes a mellow grace; interweaving a jazz-infused musicality with elements of trip-hop and pop, it’s a beautifully heartfelt ode to carrying on in the face of adversity. Exuding a sparkling allure, with ‘Words’ Claire has showcased her ability to create truly stirring ballads, resonating with a poignant sentiment that so many of us can relate to.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business – ‘He Earns Enough’

Following their poignant previous single ‘I Am Afraid’ and their captivating cover of Empress Of’s ‘Woman Is A Word’, Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business have now announced their debut EP, set for release in October. Featuring members of Trash Kit, F*Choir and Bamboo, the six-piece choral punk ensemble have received acclaim from the likes of Steve LaMacq on BBC 6Music, and have now shared a brand new single; the title track of the upcoming EP.

Propelled by an anthemic, mystical power, ‘He Earns Enough‘ reflects on shamelessly money-grabbing men who increased their fortunes to the tune of billions during the pandemic, while millions around the world struggled and suffered. Building in intensity as chiming hooks crescendo alongside soaring harmonious voices, glitchy beats pulse against the poignant, angst-driven refrain. As the swirling layers of vocals trickle alongside each other and grow with an empowering energy, ‘He Earns Enough’ offers a simple, yet stirring, message, oozing a sweeping, celestial splendour that’ll bewitch the listener instantly with its eerily enchanting allure. Ending on the climax of the voices coming together with impassioned shouts of “Enough!”, it captures the rage and sense of hopelessness of living with the continuing injustices of a patriarchal capitalist society.

Of the inspiration behind the track, Jenny Moore explains:

I heard a story once about the head boss of Tesco discussing the future of the company and his role in it. He bemoaned the fact that, because of the women and migrants, men like him were becoming extinct. This year, the big billionaires in the US increased their wealth by $1.2 trillion. During a global pandemic. Women and migrants took care of a dying world and men ate it up – made millions on the virus and its ruthlessness, extracted Earth’s resources, laid off workers, denied sick pay, threw some pennies to ‘causes’ and then went to outer space for a party. I think, maybe, he earns enough.”

Agreed, Jenny!

Watch the beautifully crafted new video for ‘He Earns Enough’ here:

He Earns Enough, the upcoming new EP from Jenny Moore’s Mystic Business, is set for release 8th October via Lost Map Records. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Blonde Maze x Attom – ‘I Think About’

Having fallen in love with everything that New York-based artist and previous guest on our GIHE radio show, Blonde Maze, has created, my ears were extremely happy to welcome her brand new single. Following 2019’s ‘To The Moon‘ and ‘Not All Flowers Bloom‘, and this year’s ‘Diamond Eyes‘ and a beautiful cover of ‘Fade Into You‘, ‘I Think About‘ is a collaboration with Attom and provides a perfect sparkling summer soundscape.

Flowing with a twinkling, ethereal splendour, ‘I Think About’ reflects on the intrigue of loving deeply, and the realisation that with these feelings come an endearing sense of vulnerability. Oozing an utterly captivating majesty that instantly soothes and uplifts, glistening hooks and glitchy beats float as a swirling undercurrent to the ripple of Amanda’s luscious, heartfelt vocals. As always, with everything Blonde Maze creates, it’s impossible not to become utterly immersed in the track’s blissful lilting grace and cathartic euphoric energy.

Thank you, Blonde Maze, for never failing to lift my spirits and calm my mind with your truly heavenly creations.

Mari Lane
@marimindles