London four-piece Crows share their new single ‘Slowly Separate’, their first new music in three years, plus announce their highly-anticipated second album Beware Believers out 1st April 2022 via Bad Vibrations Records (pre-order here).
They also announce a run of UK/EU live shows for April, including London’s Scala, to go on sale Monday 17th January at 10 am here.
Talking about the new track ‘Slowly Separate’, Crows frontman James Cox says: “Slowly Separate is about living in London, working a job you hate and just going through the mundane routine of hand to mouth living. Don’t get me wrong, I love London. It’s been my home for 13 years, and this song translates to any city and anytime you’re working a job that doesn’t fulfil you. When it gets to the end of the month, all your rent and bills come out and you’re barely left with enough to get through the next month. It gets to you, I’m sure a lot of people can relate. It just makes it sweeter when you are finally making changes in your life for the better and you can leave those feelings in the past.”
Creative team Sambu, made up of 404 Guild (Dirty Hit) member Taylor Devenny, and Ben Hughes, are behind the dark video — taking the message of living to work and turning it into a visual. The duo says, “Our immediate reaction to the song was that of anxiety and repetition, the feeling of things never getting better, only repeating. Yet there is certain comfort to be found in this endless cycle. We represent this idea through two anonymous business men dragging manifestations of their guilt and shame throughout the city, only ever fixated on their own demons and the burdens they carry. They meet at an undisclosed location to release their frustrations before the cycle repeats, time and time again. We see this repetition and release as a form of catharsis, or a way for them to express themselves, which in the city, they are unable to do.”
Equal parts ferocious and hedonistic, the incoming Beware Believers LP is due out April 1st 2022 via Bad Vibrations Records and perfectly captures the raucous, anarchic energy that Crows have become renowned for on the stage. It arrives off the back of their critically acclaimed 2019 debut Silver Tongues, international touring and festival appearances, and shared stages with the likes of IDLES, Wolf Alice, Gilla Band, Metz, Slaves, and Protomartyr.
Conjuring a dark and visceral post-punk that’s been hardened by years of notoriously rowdy live shows, Crows have amassed a legion of die-hard fans since they formed back in 2015 and cultivated a singular, much-adored presence in the British alternative music scene. Following the release of their debut album on the IDLES-run Balley Records back in 2019 (a sold-out UK tour with the Bristol heavyweights also followed the album’s release), Crows immediately set to work on its follow-up.
“We started writing the album in the downtime between tours just after releasing Silver Tongues in the Spring of 2019”, Cox recalls: “We were really determined to follow up the album as quickly as possible and keep that ball rolling and we were creatively in a really good place.” By January 2020 they were already back in London’s Fish Factory Studios (the same studio and team with which they made Silver Tongues) tracking what would become the Beware Believers LP. Their debut was a long time coming but this time around Crows had no intention of taking things slow and patiently. The new album was quickly coming along, they were playing to busier and busier crowds and were gearing up for their first trip to the US for SXSW – and then Covid hit.
Not only did the arrival of the pandemic cancel their upcoming shows, including the US run they had planned around SXSW, but it also put recording the new album to a sudden halt. For a band known first and foremost for their live shows, who were also right in the middle of a creative and critical surge, the lockdown-enforced break was initially hard to stomach. However, Cox admits that the album Crows came out with on the other side of lockdown was all the better for it:
“Once we knew Covid was here to stay, we took the first break we’ve taken since we released our first single ‘Pray’ in 2015. Being locked down for three months unable to finish the last bits of the record was very frustrating but it did mean we could come back to the album with fresh ears and make sure it sounded like it should: a true representation of Crows.” Loud, cathartic and abrasive – a quintessential Crows record it certainly is.
“Beware Believers has felt like a marathon, a real endurance test that’s been a long, winding road filled with highs and lows and plenty of twists and turns. The majority of the themes on the album came from what was going on in the world around summer 2019, Covid wasn’t in our lives and the biggest impact was Brexit and the madness our government were putting us through. I was reading a lot of J.G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut whilst all this craziness was going on around us and it was a weird headspace to get into.”
In case you missed it, check out this fabulous interview from the Goth Kitchen, with James Cox, filmed during lockdown 2020.