Album Review – In Coastal Light by The Crystal Furs (2022) (Reckless Yes Records)
There was a a couple of years immediately prior to lockdown when it was obligatory for every female fronted Indie/twee-pop act to release digital singles accompanied by videos of a pretty girl, wearing a 1960s style summer dress, frolicking (on her own) along a shoreline. It was the absolute rule…apparently.
The Crystal Furs do things vastly differently… Not for them the need for overly cutesy, for they course tracks such as the opening double salvo of Winter Stars and Charlatan, as well as Mr Moses, with a feminity born from what feels like a celebration of female strength that is more crushing shells in Airwear as opposed to the frivolity of anything decidedly ‘girlie’.
That is not to say that this In Coastal Light does not thrive of femininity, for this release could not really be so perfect without such an essence. Miss Hughes, Rose Coloured Glasses and the epic seven minute closer of Girl In The Background, are special exactly due to the female vocals / background vocals and harmonies that augment the whirring organs and sense of swirl that typifies The Crustal Furs sound as a ‘maelstrom of lady’.
Perhaps this release sees them explore their feminity even further, with California Misses You and Stay With Me, teetering on the edge of indie-pop and staring into the Sapphire and Steel style yacht rock / twee-pop waters below. It is a subtle edge towards a slightly different direction that was always going to suit them and adds a stylish ying to their more abrasive yang.
One of my most eagerly awaited albums of the year has lived up to very expectation.