Features Track By Track: Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave
We’ve an exclusive sampler and guide to Crystal Fighters’ new album.
Every album is a learning process for its makers, mostly in the sense that a band will find themselves exploring new techniques, instruments, in turn maturing their ideas. But for Crystal Fighters their new record 'CAVE RAVE' was a spiritual, as well as a musical, learning process. Or at least that's the impression we get from reading vocalist Sebastian Pringle's exclusive track-by-track guide to the group's long-awaited second full-length. Free-mindedness and cosmic love and all these glorious experiences Pringle speaks of manifest themselves into the youthful energy of songs like 'You & I', the tribal burst of 'Wave'. It's a record that thinks big and aims to go even bigger.
Read Sebastian's track-by-track guide and check out an exclusive album sampler below, where you can preview all 10 tracks.
The song 'Wave' is about all life on earth as one, the nature of time, and our collective place in the universe, and other realms. We believe there is far more out there than just the physical world; we are riding on that physical wave, together, but there is a deeper swell which moves all of us, and everything.
This is inspired both by african music legends such as King Sunny Ade and D.O. Misiani but also the spirit of Basque choir music (with their choirs of over 200 men) and of course the txalaparta (the wood blocks we play in our live show), as well as the city where we recorded Cave Rave, Los Angeles. We feel like sometimes life is like a movie, with all its twists and turns, heroes and villains, parties and tragedies, and where better to record our audio movie than LA? The subject matter however cryptically spans fast-moving criminal friends in London (now incarcerated - “come out of there”) to peace loving yogi-types in the Basque Hills (“Everyone gather round the world, and give thanks we’re of the world” was a toast given on our last supper in Elgoibar, Spain, where we wrote much of the album).
'You & I'
This song goes everywhere at once, just like you seem to have to be these modern days, from being on a beach with a ukulele to a black magic séance with a Bolivian charango (a miniature 10-stringed instrument we picked up on our travels and used on this song) to deliriously flying above it all around the world on an aeroplane, the invention that really brought the world together. But all of this insignificant when you discover the intensity and depth of true passion and real love with somebody, “you and me, no one else, nothing else but you and I”. The song draws contrast between the hecticness of life and the purity of joy of love.
“Can we separate a body from mind and the soul?” This is the main question of the song, is there a path beyond this physical plane for our spirits, and indeed is the spirit world the “change” we are heading for when we are “gone”? There is also, however, a sense of exuberance for and duty to experience the present with full force and extreme love, “foreverlove”, here and now, and forever, way past death, if possible.
This song is a reflection on memories and all the good and bad things you may have done in your life, and the decisions you took or were taken for you to find yourself where you are today. The lyrics try to capture the feeling of experiencing new revelations for the first time, and the strange combination of emotional sadness coupled with joy you can feel when you’re old world views are left behind, and that initially lonely but ultimately liberated feeling you can feel when walking a new, steeper path.
'Bridge of Bones'
We wrote this in Berango, Euskadi, as a kind of sequel to the song Xtatic Truth from our first album. It is completely opposite in style to that song, but tries to imagine that “all alone” man still floating alone on the water trying to connect with love in his last moments. We have never done a song like this before and are excited to see where we can go next with new styles having taken the leap with this one.
This is a pure love song set in a sunny place where there positive emotions and feelings of togetherness are running high. When we play live the crowd is so important to us, and their joining us in the realm of ecstatic revelry is of great significance to us, which is why we chose to write a song like this; to celebrate natural love, the struggle but ultimate joy of life, and the sensation of living entirely in the present moment, in an eternal moment of bliss.
'Are We One'
This song is about the moment one realizes the potential existence of a collective consciousness which unites all beings on earth, and also other dimensions. “When we go up, are we one, are we love?” asks the age old question of what happens to our spirit once its current physical incarnation is deceased.
This is a thoughtful song about the kind of purgatorial nature of life and indeed nightlife It’s not hard for us to recollect times of extreme isolation and weariness when at a non-stop party and this song is supposed to add some kind of melancholic optimism to that scenario, culminating in liquid acoustic jungle.
This last song on the record is all about letting your fears about life subside and to experience life and love with the verve and naivete of a child. For much of this album we tried to imagine ourselves living outside of time to seek the essence of nature and artistic creativity without the boundaries of culture as much as possible and to write songs that could have been written at any time.
'CAVE RAVE' is released on 27th May. Pre-order on iTunes and check out the exclusive album sampler below.