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.

LISTEN: Husk – ‘My Innocence’

Having previously treated our ears to uptempo pop gems ‘Heal With Time’ and ‘Below The Neck’, and having received acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson, BBC Radio Cymru’s Janice Long and Gaydio, Manchester based trans masc, non-binary artist HUSK has now shared a brand new single.

Propelled by glitchy, tribal beats and a fiery, vibrant groove, ‘My Innocence‘ oozes a swirling, empowering energy. With an uplifting passion, HUSK’s distinctive, sweeping vocals flow as a shimmering euphoric splendour glistens with every note. A fiesty pop banger, it’ll leave you feeling energised – ready to hit the dance floor with loved ones and unite in the celebration of queer love and diversity.

Of the track, HUSK reflects: “I just wanted to make a song that you could dance to about new exciting queer love.

They have certainly succeeded in this with ‘My Innocence’! And at a time when it is more important than ever to spread the message of equal rights for all, and love and solidarity within the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. So, press play, turn it up and celebrate queer joy!

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: all cats are beautiful – ‘thought i saw u in the shop last nite’

thought i saw u in the shop last nite’, the new single from all cats are beautiful, arrived earlier this month on London label 0800-MOSHI-MOSHI. It’s a blissed out track, perfectly suited to the summer months, which drifts along in its own groove – acoustic guitar melded with occasionally glitchy beats, synths and a vocal delivery equally intimate and detached.

The duo (comprised of Elena and Kyle) describe themselves as “two queer best friends making dance music but for sad people”, and the happy/sad dynamic comes across not only in the lyrics – which describe the sense of loss when someone close isn’t there anymore – but in the music and production. The self-produced band use minimal arrangements – the texture of the song is made up of just a few key elements – but still create a rich, warm sound which complements the vocal perfectly.

There’s a touch of early Hot Chip (whose first album was released on the same label) here in the band’s comfort with experimenting with pop, indie and electronica, bending the forms of multiple genres to their will, seemingly at ease. Similarly, the reference within the lyrics to Frank Ocean handily signposts another influence and another musical world that the band draw from. But perhaps attempting to classify this ‘post-pop’ group through comparisons and genres is besides the point. Their upcoming EP, from which this track is the second single, is titled the things we made, and there’s a pleasing simplicity to that which reflects something in the music – it sounds like exactly what you suspect it is: the sound of two talented people who care about each other a lot having a good time making music.

Watch the charming new video for ‘thought i saw u in the shop last nite’ here:

the things we made, the upcoming debut EP from all cats are beautiful, will be released via 0800-Moshi-Moshi very soon…

Gregory Metcalfe
@gregorysparty

PREMIERE: CRISP&CLASSY – ‘Boom Bay’

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 dance-floor anthem, ‘Basic‘ – a collaboration with GIHE fave Rookes – they have shared a brand new euphoric offering.

Oozing all the sumptuous summer vibes and colourful energy you could ever desire, ‘Boom Bay’ fuses together an eclectic palette of genres to create something wonderfully uplifting. Interweaving funk-fuelled Raggeton beats with synth-driven soundscapes as sensuous vocals exude an empowering lyricism, it’s impossible not to become utterly immersed in its blissful, sassy splendour and sparkling, soulful drive. Celebrating self-love and our connection with each other (“Self love is my husband / Confidence is my cousin”), ‘Boom Bay’ is the place to be: a sunny, sonic delight that will exhilarate and inspire; “a utopian luxury resort where everyone is welcome. Here you can be whoever you want to be; express yourself in any way you desire.” 

Treat your ears to ‘Boom Bay’, for the first time, here:

Find out more about CRISP&CLASSY and the new single in the interview below:

Hi, CRISP&CLASSY, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We are a LGBTQ & Feminist musical love affair comprised of Scandinavian producer Kat Knix and Transylvanian songwriter Plushy. Our mission is breaking preconceptions and speaking about the unspoken. Our love for diversity and desire to break free is universal and gets translated through our iconic bops. CRISP&CLASSY is a spoiled and ignorant child; always in your face, screaming their lungs out to be heard. Because every day is riot day!

How did you initially decide to start creating music together?
Kat Knix was a proper indie rock chick in her teenage years back in Stockholm, while Plushy worshipped the pop divas and joined R’n’B dance classes in Transylvania. We met in London in 2013. Plushy was still a music student at that point and Kat was a part time DJ, so music made us bond. It was only after a few years of failing to write anything good together because of too many bottles of wine, when Kat asked Plushy to be her backing vocalist on her solo project. After performing together under Kat Knix, they eventually decided to officially unite their forces and create something never seen before. And CRISP&CLASSY was born. Mixing our music backgrounds, CRISP&CLASSY is a marriage between electronic synths, pop hooks, and dance and reggaeton beats. Both of us being ’90s kids, CRISP&CLASSY naturally carries a twisted ’90s sound, inspired by queens such as Janet Jackson and Madonna.

You’re about to release your euphoric new single ‘Boom Bay’. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired this track? Are there any particular themes running throughout it? 
The first idea for ‘Boom Bay’ came from Kat last Spring. Plushy was working out in Hackney Marshes and got sent a voice memo from Kat: “I made a beat and we should make it a song inspired by an ’80s aerobic tape with a matching video…” Eventually the concept kind of travelled from there to being an anthem of self love, and we started imagining this video where the water element in the production would be visually mirrored. We imagined it to be the perfect combination between Kat’s reggaeton beats and Plushy’s New York voguing chords over the chorus. ‘Boom Bay’ is a utopian luxury retreat in the CRISP&CLASSY world where everyone is welcome. Here we celebrate ourselves and one another. 

The track follows your epic collaboration with GIHE fave Rookes on vibrant single ‘Basic’ earlier this year – how did this collaboration come about? And how was it working with Rookes? 
Rookes pitched us the idea on a drunken night out and we simply had to join in! After several Zooms discussing the concept and Kat spending time on the production, we met up in the studio and recorded the lyrics that glued the track together, and eventually became the main concept! Rookes has taught us a lot. She is a veteran in the music industry and has not only mentored us, but also opened so many doors. Working with her was a lot of fun and we thank her for the love during our drunken wild Zoom meets! 

And you have a debut album set for release later this year, which is very exciting! Can you tell us any more about this? 
Fried Futuristic Electric guitars and Luxury Alien Spit in a glass by the beach – that’s all we have to say. You will be completely infatuated once you’ll be blessed with it! And a music video for ‘Boom Bay’ will be released along with the album, stay tuned!

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
Our community of amazing creative people in all areas has made us feel extremely loved. We were so lucky to shoot our ‘Boom Bay’ music video during the pandemic, and worked with incredibly talented people. So many musicians made a lot of music during the pandemic, and we’ve kept our people close. We’ve also started C&C TV on our YouTube channel, for our fans to still be able to escape to the CRISP&CLASSY world, as gigs have been out of the question for quite some time. On C&C TV we are completely letting go; ridiculing ourselves while celebrating our love for ’90s cooking shows and make-up tutorials. 

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
Creativity has been like therapy for us during the pandemic, and we’re so glad that we can always turn to each other for unlimited love and encouragement; especially during these hard times. Plushy was very happy Lady Gaga dropped an album during the pandemic. He is also continuously obsessed with Bree Runway who’s helped him make it through. Kat has become a true yogi, and the pandemic has made her realise she can’t live without gong baths! Hanging out with drag queen extraordinaires like Miss Dylan and Styled By Voodka has certainly lifted our spirits during the pandemic. And on the other hand, the pandemic has made us less distracted. As we both are restless souls and suffer from serious FOMO! 

Of course, we’re all missing live music at the moment, and understandably all have quite mixed feelings about the return of events. But do you have any tentative plans for any gigs coming up in the near future? 
We can’t wait to get back into gig life in the fall! London shows are coming up soon, so y’all better get ready!

And what can fans expect from your live show? 
The CRISP&CLASSY World is a safe haven, where you can be yourself and let your hair down, like treating yourself to a relaxing day at the beach. When the sun sets, you take your restless oozing body to a nearby bar. That’s where we will be, soothing your sunburn with our uplifting beats and nasty lyrics. And there you are; feeling yourself becoming one with the CRISP&CLASSY world, and you’ll never want to leave!

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands or artists that you’d recommend we check out?
Our friend Arnie Wrong’s club nostalgia songs will put words on your heart ache, while getting you back on your feet and feel your most powerful ever! She just released her new tune ‘Strange Love’, defo a must listen!

Massive thanks to CRISP&CLASSY for answering our questions!

‘Boom Bay’ is out tomorrow 25th June. And it’ll be followed by an iconic music video directed and produced by BAFTA Awarded Scholars Leo Lebeau and James Bell, plus the release of CRISP&CLASSY’s debut album, Xtra Crispy, at the end of the summer.

Mari Lane
@marimindles