The Crystal Furs – Miss Hughes / Please Fade Away (Kitten Pants Records)

The Crystal Furs – Miss Hughes / Please Fade Away (Kitten Pants Records)

The Crystal Furs, out of Portland OR, further develop their upbeat girl-group harmonies and melodic pop blended with direct lyrics speaking to their experience on self-released double A singles Miss Hughes and Please Fade Away.

The Crystal FursArtist: The Crystal Furs
Release: Miss Hughes / Please Fade Away
Label: Kitten Pants Records
Released: 13 August 2021
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

With a swell of organ The Crystal Furs return with their first new music in a while, in the form of double-A singles Miss Hughes and Please Fade Away, released on their own Kitten Pants Records.

Gloriously building on the 60s-girl-groups-meet-grunge foundations they’ve been laying both tracks push forward their command of the jangle-pop sound, their kitsch-cute aesthetic, and their courage and commitment to put out music which reflects their truest selves.

They say this is for you if you like: ‘guitars, pop, 1940s b-movie actresses, urban planning, telling off your ex, being queer, cheesy 1960s organs, girls, delay pedals, jangle, vocal harmonies, girls with red Gibson SGs, reverb’ and it’s hard to argue or add much to that list. What it doesn’t express is quite how well they put all those influences together, and are crafting some really special pop juxtaposing bright melodies and often darker yet incredibly characterful lyrics.

Miss Hughes is drenched in harmonies and that initial swell of somewhat organ gives way to a bouncing bass line and light vocals delivering warmly intelligent lyrics, there’s plenty of space in a track which has much complexity expertly delivered. Please Fade Away turns up the duality between words and music, structurally there is a subtle shuddering which mirrors the tension in the lyrics yet overall there is a softness to the sounds at play here, as the direct desire to be left alone is frustratingly couched in society’s expectation of politeness and complicity from women at all times.

Retro without being jaded, cute without being cliched what The Crystal Furs do so well – and demonstrate deeply on both tracks in this release – is as we’ve said pair light, sparkling and downright danceable melodies with dark-hearted lyrics emerging from shadowy inner worlds and harder lived experiences. A perfect step on from last full release Beautiful and True these double-As show a band committed to growing into their creativity (the artwork here too is a perfect evolution from their last album art) as they grow into themselves. Inspiring, soft yet strong pop, and a couple of tracks you most definitely want on your playlist right now.

Miss Hughes / Please Fade Away from The Crystal Furs is out digitally now, and give a hint of what’s to come on their next album In Coastal Light, slated for release in 2022. Previous album Beautiful and True is out on vinyl, CD or digital via Reckless Yes and all good record shops.

Find The Crystal Furs: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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