If you’ve read the About STX page you will have some idea of why I started this site. If you’re toying between a unnatural fixation on faces and a passion for underrated artists then I can assure you it’s the latter; faces are lovely and all that but I think they have their own time and place. Stopped in Trax is my excuse to hunt around for those special artists who may be just starting out in their career or have otherwise been sadly overlooked for the Miley’s and the One Directions. These artists continue to baffle and amaze me; the thought that there are people out there somewhere making exceptional music that simply doesn’t reach a fraction of the ears it deserves to is curious to say the least. If I am able to bump up the numbers for even one hidden talent then my hours hunched over my desk are rewarded tenfold, on top of the reward already afforded me by the music itself. Stopped in Trax is indebted to the “unfamiliar faces” and acts like Red Crow continue to be immeasurably site-affirming.
Red Crow is a 5-piece band from Banbury, flying largely under the radar, making some of the most interesting and enjoyable music I have had the pleasure of listening to. Their tracks are musical events in their own right, each taking on a form transcendent of structure and composition to produce a unique and multifarious experience in which you are drawn to lose yourself. There is a rich depth screamingly indicative of detailed and thoughtful construction, which serves not to tame their raw authenticity, but rather to harness it and use it to hit you around the head with greater accuracy and perhaps less bruising. They refuse to be background noise to even the most engaging activity, demanding attention without even needing to ask; Red Crow makes music you listen to, rather than hear.
Red Crow-City Riser
Lead vocalist, Patrick Currier, has a unique tone to his voice which embodies multiple styles of music and affords Red Crow’s sound a diverse appeal outside of the respective confines of alternative folk, rock, or any of the other genres to which it may be objectively assigned. It is earnest and full of personality, contrasting gentle breaks and clear power in one breath. At this juncture I often might comment on the level of control the vocalist exerts over their voice, however I’m not entirely sure of the actual existence of conscious regulation in Currier’s vocal. I think he simply sings and his voice naturally carves its own path through the melody. This freedom is reflective of the musical aplomb of Red Crow as a wider collective – they make their own music their own way.
Originally Currier’s solo project, Red Crow has evolved and taken on a life of its own, drawing in the formidable musical prowess of Christopher Robin, Matt Watson, James Stevenson and Fred Whatmore, to become the band as it stands today. The risk when bringing together individual artists is always that they will remain as such, playing their own gig and not producing a cohesive sound under the band umbrella; Red Crow is what happens when you bring together individual artists that were always meant to play together. Entirely united, the instrumental isn’t merely a support to the lead vocals, but the harmonic extension of the lyrics. It just works so well.
Dripping with clever wordplay and attentive fluency, the words to Red Crow’s songs call out so directly you often find you have completely paused just to listen more intently (it has taken me so long to write this feature… ) The music has the style and the substance to back it, with equal impact both in and outside of any mastering and mixing. This acoustic take of their track, “Love is Strange Currency” affords a beautiful resonance to its lyrics and is rapidly becoming one of my favourite songs the more I listen to it.
Red Crow-Love is Strange Currency
Press have likened Red Crow to Mumford and Sons and, whilst admittedly this is a comparison I have justifiably made full use of in the past, I would like to suggest that in this instance it is somewhat misplaced. Mumford and Sons seem to be the measure of all folk-related acts emerging onto today’s alternative circuit and a comparison is definitely an accolade of high regard, however Red Crow are something different, something special. To compare Red Crow to Mumford and Sons would be to put them in the arena of folk ambiguity. Red Crow are Red Crow and they embody all it means to be a measure in their own right. Let their own hopeful comparisons commence.