Brooklyn-based band Crumb released two new singles, BNR and Balloon last week.
Crumb is the collaboration of Lila Ramani (guitar, vocals), Bri Aronow (synth, keys, sax), Jesse Brotter (bass), and Jonathan Gilad (drums). The friends came together in 2016 with the goal of developing and recording a collection of songs Ramani had written in high school and college, the work ultimately resulting in the band’s first two EPs, 2016’s Crumb and 2017’s Locket. Encouraged by the warm reception online and at shows, the band evolved into a full time touring and recording project.
In June 2019, Crumb released Jinx, their first full-length album and best distillation to date of their singular blend of psych-rock and jazz. On Jinx, Ramani continues to helm the songwriting, with Aronow, Brotter, and Gilad each bringing distinctive ideas to match her ethereal, intimate vocals and luminous guitar lines. Informed by two years of nearly non-stop touring, the songs sweep and swell to capture the beguiling live spirit of Crumb shows, while taking listeners one step further down the band’s dizzying, hypnotic path.
After returning with a new song last month, Crumb are back to share two new tracks, BNR and Balloon, and an accompanying video for BNR. Like the previously-released single Trophy, the two new songs elevate their infectious sound, with the video for BNR acting as the perfect visual counterpart as an eerie and dystopian tale unfolds.
Speaking on the new songs, Lila Ramani says: “’BNR’ is an ode to my favorite colors. I had a weird obsession with those colors in winter 2018-2019 and felt like they would follow me around everywhere I went. ‘Balloon’ tells the story of a girl that dances so fast in the club that her head falls off.” Perfectly Lynchian, just how we like it.
Talking of heads coming off, be sure to watch to the end of the video for BNR. It begins in grayscale, paying subtle homage to some of Alfred Hitchcock’s classics like Psycho and The Birds. The video becomes slowly saturated with colour after a mysterious eerie noise resets the song’s momentum, and closes with a disturbing shot of Ramani as a string section brings the track to an end.
“BNR” and “Balloon” continue to mark Crumb’s growth since their already impressive 2019 debut album. Uncanny and enthralling, the siren song of Ramani captures attention against the kinks and grooves of Crumb’s brand of psychedelia. While “Balloon” is at first listen a cool, danceable track, its lyrics are a bit more foreboding; “BNR,” on the other hand, leans fully into its more sinister qualities.