6 Songs, 23 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

From the opening strains of “Crippled Croon” — with its ghostly, twinkling guitar and reverberating tambourine set in a tunnel of distorted guitar squalls — your first reaction to Brooklyn’s Crystal Stilts might be fairly bright and optimistic. There’s a hint of ‘60s pop and Phil Spector drama in the winsome melody as murmured woozily by vocalist Brad Hargett. However, this collection of early releases by the Brooklyn purveyors of gloomy psych-rock soon embraces the dark, with a number of tracks recalling Ian Curtis and Joy Division in style and tone (especially the swirling morass of “The Sinking”). Balancing a sort of bleak despair with an intensely fluid and danceable brand of lysergic, fuzz-covered rock, Crystal Stilts seem to have a solid formula brewing. While touchstones such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and labelmates Black Tambourine come to mind, the Velvet Underground is a clear antecedent. “Lights” maintains a brooding spirit, Hargett’s vocals barely discernable amid the ominous rumble of a bass drum and glittering keyboards, but it does so bathed in a wash of sunlight and kaleidoscope color. Crystal Stilts has clearly chosen from the very best in terms of influences.

EDITORS’ NOTES

From the opening strains of “Crippled Croon” — with its ghostly, twinkling guitar and reverberating tambourine set in a tunnel of distorted guitar squalls — your first reaction to Brooklyn’s Crystal Stilts might be fairly bright and optimistic. There’s a hint of ‘60s pop and Phil Spector drama in the winsome melody as murmured woozily by vocalist Brad Hargett. However, this collection of early releases by the Brooklyn purveyors of gloomy psych-rock soon embraces the dark, with a number of tracks recalling Ian Curtis and Joy Division in style and tone (especially the swirling morass of “The Sinking”). Balancing a sort of bleak despair with an intensely fluid and danceable brand of lysergic, fuzz-covered rock, Crystal Stilts seem to have a solid formula brewing. While touchstones such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and labelmates Black Tambourine come to mind, the Velvet Underground is a clear antecedent. “Lights” maintains a brooding spirit, Hargett’s vocals barely discernable amid the ominous rumble of a bass drum and glittering keyboards, but it does so bathed in a wash of sunlight and kaleidoscope color. Crystal Stilts has clearly chosen from the very best in terms of influences.

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About Crystal Stilts

Formed in New York in 2003 by Brad Hargett and JB Townsend, multi-influenced indie rock band Crystal Stilts released their first work -- some singles and an EP -- in 2004 on the Feathery Tongue label. The first single, "Shattered Shine," was followed by a series of local shows and then a five-song EP on Woodsist in 2008. Later that same year, their debut full-length album, Alight of Night, was released by Slumberland. While the records were made by the duo, they were joined by Kyle Forester on keyboards, Andy Adler on bass, and Frankie Rose, formerly of Vivian Girls, on drums for live shows and the tour surrounding the album's release. After touring with the band during 2009, Rose left to form her own band (Frankie Rose & the Outs). The remaining members, including new drummer Keegan Cooke, began work on their next album and the result, In Love with Oblivion, was released by Slumberland in April of 2011. Mere months later the band released the Radiant Door EP on Sacred Bones. Sticking with Sacred Bones but expanding their sound to incorporate elements of soul, country, and folk, their next album, Nature Noir, was released in fall of 2013. ~ Chris True

ORIGIN
Brooklyn, NY
FORMED
2003

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