There’s an earthen, rustic beauty to Crake’s ‘By the Slime Mould’, the Wakefield/Leeds group’s oh-so-short 3-song EP.
With nods to Belle & Sebastian, Hop Along and Big Thief, ‘By The Slime Mould’ is essentially 3 sparse and hushed confessionals, delicate and lilting but silkily arranged and deftly played.
Musically sparse, ‘By The Slime Mould’ is a mixture of soft drums and gentle guitars, which serve as mere accompaniment to Rowan Sandle’s devastatingly beautiful vocals and intimate lyrics. Of course, such musicality should come as no surprise; Crake features members of Leeds’ Mi Mye, The Spills and Esper Scout. This talent ensures there is a roughhewn charm to all three of the songs on offer, each refracting and reflecting different sides to Crake’s charming indie/folk rock.
‘I Should Listen To Emily’, for example builds to a blustering conclusion (this, is of course, relative – it’s still all rather low key), but it feels like a gusty breeze blowing hard over the open and blasted Yorkshire Moors. Organic and with just enough edge, it’s the mounting grey skies on the horizon, adding texture and mood to an EP that you could easily get lost in.
‘Sisters’, meanwhile, is an unpolished and low-key beauty, possessing some gorgeous harmonies and melodies that complement a gorgeous horn-line and some biting lyricism. Like the EP, it’s frustratingly and devastatingly brief – but this only serves to add to the allure of Crake.
Best of all, however, is the gently rolling ‘Anglesey’. Harking back to the likes of the Lemonheads in their quieter, more reflective moments, it’s a delightful slice of alt-rock. The hooks are buried deep, but it is insidiously infectious, rattling around the brain long after it’s finished.
Of course, the problem with such a short EP is that it serves as a tantalising introduction to Crake. There’s definitely much more to come from the group – but for now, ‘By the Slime Mould’ will more than do.
‘By the Slime Mould’ EP by Crake is out now.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)