Crumb’s debut is a hazy celestial ballet about New York, where you feel the right amount of drunk at all times.
A third of the way through the flaneurish street songs of Crumb’s debut comes the hook “fall down say a prayer”, repeated slowly. It feels like sinking through a surreal manhole, with all the shoegaze showmanship of Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space. Dizzy daydreams and narcotics are extrapolated to pen the intimidating mystique humdrum of New York City: a musician dies on stage but walks off with jazz hands.
The collaboration of Brooklyn-based musicians Lila Ramani (guitar, vocals), Brian Aronow (synth, keys, sax), Jesse Brotter (bass), and Jonathan Gilad (drums) has this quality that feels like pushing through caramel, trying to decode Ramani’s psych-pop riddles in a woozy space that you shouldn’t be occupying. It’s not that it’s particularly intimate, more of a dreamlike acid trip where you’re struggling to breathe. "The Letter" plays like surreal peer-pressure for an anxious friend’s first trip; the cloudy eyes of "Part III" and nauseous synths of "It Never Ends" sounds more like Fantasia looks than how you’d imagine washed-out contemporaries of Beach House to sound.
"Fall Down" is encroaching on the night-home piggyback for the friend that needs it. Chords play in reverse to end "M.R." and warp outwards into a calmly-breathing jazz café backing. For all the light-headed horns and lo-fi bedroom production, there’s this clarity and precision that ends "Cracking". Jinx is both their misadventure and their healing as intrepid explorers of the New York nightlife. “We all get lost and we all come back,” sings Ramani; her indictment of a city that spits you out is magnetic.