Crumb on third album 'AMAMA' and playing Wide Awake Festival

Festivals Crumb: “This album feels a bit less manicured and timid – it’s not afraid to lean into the weirder sides of our sound”

Ahead of their turn playing Wide Awake this weekend, we catch up with NYC’s Crumb all about their hot-off-the-press new album, ‘AMAMA’.

Making a trip across the Atlantic with a brand new record in tow, New York band Crumb are a sure bet for anyone’s must-see list at this weekend’s Wide Awake Festival - the capital’s annual celebration of alternative music titans and buzzy cult favourites. Ahead of their South London set, we spoke to the band’s vocalist Lila Ramani to chat about their just-released third album, ‘AMAMA’.

You’re getting ready to release your new album shortly; how’re you feeling ahead of its release? Are you excited to get it out into the world?

It feels really good to get it all out there – these are some of my favorite songs we’ve made.

Can you tell us a bit about how the new album came to life? What sort of headspace were you in after ‘Ice Melt’, going into this record? 

I honestly started writing some of these songs while we were in the midst of making 'Ice Melt' as kind of an escape, and a couple are even older than that – songs we’ve been working on since pre-'Jinx'. Our process is never super linear in that way - songs sometimes develop slowly over years, or happen really quickly. 

The record’s being called your most carefree and open-hearted to date. How did that come to happen? Was it a conscious decision going into making the record, or did it happen quite naturally?

It wasn't a conscious decision, and maybe it’s harder to perceive from the outside, but I do feel like on the songwriting side I poured a lot of my identity into this album – romantic love, family, and other stories from my world. The song 'AMAMA' maybe feels the most like this – it tells the story of me and my partner growing up in parallel a mile from each other, and is threaded together by a sample of my grandmother singing. 

Did you want to push yourself in any particular direction, sonically and lyrically, here? 

Sonically, the album feels a bit less manicured and timid – it’s not afraid to lean into the weirder sides of our sound. It also has a lot of moments of pause and quiet which is refreshing, alongside the more explosive moments.

Is there one song’s story that sticks out to you from the record? If so, could you tell us a bit about that? 

Yeah, I'd say the first song on the album, 'From Outside A Window Sill'. When I was making the demo, I was visualizing walking home at dawn on a sticky, humid summer night, when no one is awake except all the little critters moving around below your feet. I stumbled on this recording of a police report on the app Citizen (which I sampled in the song) warning about a dangerous condition; a flock of geese crossing a bridge in my neighbourhood. This really solidified that visual landscape of the song for me - a flock of geese finding its way home. 

Could you tell us a little about the message of the record itself, and what inspired that? What would you hope people would take away from listening to the album?

Echoing the story above, the absurdity of that Citizen audio clip really speaks to some tone in the album – it’s warm and light and not taking itself too seriously, for the most part. I also think the feeling of wanting home or to plant your feet down somewhere is a strong theme throughout these songs. I wouldn't say there’s a specific message though; that’s just something I reflected on when I listened back to the whole project.

You’re returning to the UK for a couple of festivals in the next few weeks; how’re you feeling ahead of those?

It’ll be sweet to play the album live for the first time in Europe, just days after we release the album – I don’t think we’ve ever toured immediately after a release like that. 

You’re currently set to play at Wide Awake in South London; what can people expect from your set, and is there anyone else on the bill across the weekend you’ll be hoping to see? 

We’ll be playing a lot of the new songs and also stuff from our whole catalogue. I don’t know a lot of the artists on the lineup, so I’m excited to see some bands I know nothing about!

'AMAMA' is out now via Crumb Records. 

You can catch Crumb play at Wide Awake Festival in Brockwell Park this Saturday, 25th May. 

Tags: Crumb, Wide Awake, Festivals, From The Magazine, Features, Interviews

As featured in the May 2024 issue of DIY, out now.

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