Back in October of last year, some devastating news was issued from the Canadian duo Crystal Castles – vocalist Alice Glass had decided, for “personal & professional” reasons to leave the group, and for most people this seemed to mark the end of one of the most unique groups around. They’re certainly not to everyone’s liking and most people would probably just deem them to be noise-makers, but anyone who has seen Crystal Castles live or just enjoys the weirdness of their music knows the truth; these two had made something special.
Today, though, that changed – Ethan Kath, mastermind behind the composition of their songs, has made an announcement that will polarise some and delight others. Crystal Castles is still alive and will now feature a new female vocalist known so far only as Edith. The statement was published along with a new single presenting the debutant, Frail, and as one news outlet aptly put it “Crystal Castles aren’t dead, only Frail”.
What may sour some is the way that the group’s initial break-up took place – Alice’s words may have suggested that the two had found come across some differences which could not be overcome, and for that reason she was keen to leave to pursue a career as a solo artist. Now though, Ethan has issued a statement of his own – initially voicing his support for Alice’s new venture and the creative control she will gain from performing alone, he then made reference to her involvement in their music, something which will undoubtedly be seen as a dig at his former colleague:
“…it should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs. (she’s not on Untrust Us. Not In Love, Vanished, Crimewave, Vietnam, Magic Spells, Knights, Air War, Leni, Lovers Who Uncover, Violent Youth, Reckless, Year of Silence, Intimate, 1991, Good Time, Violent Dreams etc.). people often gave her credit for my lyrics and that was fine, i didn’t care.”
Personally, this kind of thing isn’t what you want to see when a duo splits and I can’t imagine this will go down too well with some fans – the appeal of Crystal Castles was the silent composer and the erratic front-lady, and as anyone knows front people will always receive the credit simply because they are the best known face of the bands they represent; it doesn’t justify it, but like it or loathe it that’s the nature of the beast. Either way, they are back and ultimately for some people, that’s all that matters.