THE CRIMEA

Is it out yet, is it out yet? To be honest, I dunno, I guess, maybe, everyone has their copy anyways, so err… whatever. One thing’s for sure – come back later today and I deffinately totally 100% will be releasing a special outing for the album in a way only ImmortalSoon can do ;) Update: It is out yet! Or so says Davey n co.

13509_largeThe official release is still getting high praise from the press though, as IndieLondon proove – 4 / 5 with a long writeup and tracklisting, just incase you forget.

Tumblr blog the Whiteboard Project also feature a plug, giving Square Moon their Album Of The Week prize.

Music blog Deezer feature a quick plug for the album in their Discovery Monday section.

And just incase you needed an excuse to go, Never Enough Notes have a preview up of tomorrow’s Jazz Cafe gig finale. Now I must go, some of us have work to do….


The Crimea – Square Moon (Review)

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SO, this is the end of The Crimea. As frontman Davey McManus departs the music scene to set up an orphanage in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, his parting shot is this excellent double album, Square Moon.

An epic listen that includes moments of woozy pop, ragged folk and desolate piano, this is a luxurious send-off for any fan and newcomer alike.

Admittedly, the opening track Petals Open When Reached By Sunlight is a curious starting point in that it takes an age to get going. But it’s swiftly followed by the enchantingly bittersweet Last Plane Out of Saigon (already a fan favourite since being released as a free download in April), which implores the listener to “be my lover” while contemplating the vagaries of loneliness. With its intricate melodic structure, it’s both beautifully composed and achingly poignant, especially once the boy-girl duet kicks in.

Jellyfish maintains the momentum, amid swirling piano arrangements, surreal vocals and a vibrant chorus, while the ‘sha la la’ laden If I See My Reflection One More Time is awash with life-affirming melodies and yet more lyrical intelligence (only occasionally breaking things down to solitary piano arrangements that underline the sense of loss in the lyrics).

In contrast, The Only Living Boy And Girl employs a more solitary backdrop, complete with beating heart, and feels desolate by comparison. But it’s followed by another highlight, the wistful You Never Smile For The Camera, which again thrives on some beauitfully realised piano and guitar hooks, as well as bittersweet lyrics that lament “you were always the brightest kid in school, God knows what they’ve done to you”.

There’s yet more brilliance surrounding How To Make You Laugh, which features wonderful lyrics such as “I am the psychologist to the psychologists” and “I’m not the world’s funniest clown, but I know how to make you laugh”, as well as boy-girl harmonies and a cracking ragged folk chorus. It’ll make you smile at the very least.

The second CD is similarly full of great moments, which reveal themselves more and more with each listen. Opening with the jolly Beehive Mind, it proceeds to charm with the reflective Mid Air Collisions (which makes great use of some harmonica and a slow build approach… the chorus really comes to life) and the folk-rock We Stand Alone, which offers one of the album’s rockier moments.

And yet throughout, the ease with which some of the melodies appeal is offset by the brilliance of the lyrical imagery… Black Belt in Breaking Hearts offering a classic example of how a break-up anthem need not be depressing, Shoelaces lamenting “you can’t play scissors, paper, stone on your own” and Judas Loves You combining religious imagery with nods to Stalingrad and searing lyrics about the nature of betrayal and forgiveness.

Final track Lupara Bianca, meanwhile, offers another tantalising slice of storytelling coupled with the type of instrumentation that, initially, wouldn’t sound out of place in a Tarantino movie, before taking its own distinct detours. But such is the ambition that goes into every track, you can never guess where any particular song is heading next.

We could continue waxing lyrical but, in truth, we’d prefer to give it another spin and catch up on what we missed. This is an album that rewards repeats listens and which entertains in almost everything it does.

As a parting shot from a truly great band, it’s a truly memorable farewell that you won’t want to miss.

Download picks: Last Plane Out of Saigon, Jellyfish, If I See My Reflection One More Time, You Never Smile For The Camera, How To Make You Laugh, Mid Air Collisions, Shoelaces, Black Belt In Breaking Hearts, Judas Loves You, Lupara Bianca

Track listing: Disc 1

Petals open when reached by sunlight
Last Plane Out of Saigon
Jellyfish
Listen to seashells they know everything
If I see my Reflection One More Time
The Only Living Boy and Girl
You Never Smile for the Camera
How to make you laugh
Witches Broom
Shredder
Road to Damascus

Disc 2

Beehive Mind
Mid Air Collisions
We Stand Alone
Lovers of the Disappeared
Shoelaces
Black Belt in Breaking Hearts
Judas Loves You
Millionaire
Goldmine
Mountain of Strange
Lupara Bianca

Review by Jack Foley for IndieLondon, July 2013.
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The Albums Round Up: 28 July 2013

My Album of the Week is from The Crimea, who releases a final double album Square Moon. Frontman Davey Macmanus is moving on to a new career caring for children in Africa; this final record from the band is an extensive and rich farewell to the world of music. The release begins with the subtle piano and shimmering strings of ‘Petals open when reached by sunlight’. More delicacy is evident in ‘The last plane out of Saigon’ with Macmanus’ and Tara Blaise’s voices harmonising against an enchanting piano part. Piano is the foundation stone for the collection, alongside Macmanus’ engaging voice. ‘Jellyfish’ takes a while to settle but after its disconcerting opening sample it settles into a pleasantly melodic track. A spoken word section mixes things up on ‘The only living boy and girl’, whilst strings, piano and vocals (which include Latin prayers) combine on ‘Witches broom’ to create a bright, gentle track. ‘Beehive mind’ has some fine intricate guitar lines, whilst a sweet high-pitched harmonica part adds to the airiness of ‘Mid air collisions’. The speaking clock features on ‘Shoelaces’ and angelic backing combines with an impassioned performance from Macmanus to create a warm melody. ‘Judas Loves You’ has echoing guitars chiming out and some sampled beeps to create a dreamy anthem. Square Moon is an extensive collection that demonstrates The Crimea’s accomplished songwriting. It’s a delightful swan song; whilst their priorities have changed with exciting new vocations, the band will be much missed. Recommended.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u8XRctSBus

Review by Amanda Penlington for Whiteboard Project, 28th July 2013.
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Deezer’s #DiscoveryMonday: 29th July

Next, in Great Bands Sadly Splitting Up News, London-based band The Crimea have announced that, after more than ten years together, they will soon be no more. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as before they bow out they have released their swansong, and maybe their very best album yet, Square Moon. And singer Davey Macmanus is opening an orphanage in South Africa. So, y’know… every cloud…

Review by Sam for Deezer, 29th July 2013.
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NEWS // The Crimea To Play Last Ever Show!

It’s coming to the end of an era for London based folk rock band The Crimea, formerly known as ‘The Crocketts’. Next week they are due to play their last ever show just one day after their new album is released.

Promo Shot 2013

After an excitement filled career as a band including tours with Kings Of Leon and Travis, the fans will be given closure with a final show at the Jazz Café in Camden on Tuesday the 30th July.

11 years, several large scale tours and two extremely popular albums later, the bands’ long awaited final album ‘Square Moon’ is due for release on Monday the 30th, the day before the show.

Anticipated to be an emotional night, it is a must for any fan of The Crimea or anyone who hasn’t got round to seeing them live yet. With this being your last chance so I wouldn’t give it up lightly!

Tickets are available here.

Review by Sammi Walsh for Never Enough Notes, 27th July 2013.

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