Photo by Max Wenke
It’s been a real privilege to follow a band like Cry Club so closely since their debut single back in winter 2018. I don’t think I knew the power-duo personally at the time, only later on getting to know Heather and Jono, but I definitely knew people who knew them, and anytime someone brought up the topic of their music, the response was always “they’re the best live band”.
Over the next couple of years I did get to see them live - even by chance seeing them three times in three months (a testament of how much this band played live), and so I can second that they are the best live band. Their music is the embodiment of power and energy that Heather brings even more to life with their onstage kicks, poses and moves. Just listening to songs in the repertoire like DFTM, Robert Smith, and last month’s Nine of Swords provokes the image of the two in their bright matching outfits setting stages alight with their dance-punk anthems.
But earlier this week, we were treated to something entirely different from the Melbourne duo. Lighters is the surprise new single that Cry Club have released in the lead up to their debut album - surprising not only because we weren’t expecting new music so soon, but surprising that this song takes the form of something we haven’t heard yet. We’re used to songs with heavy percussion and enough energy coming from Jono’s guitar to recharge every phone in the room - but instead here we get a stripped-back, slower side to Cry Club in their first acoustic song.
The Japanese Wallpaper-produced single was written during the first round of Melbourne lockdowns earlier this year, and the accompanying music video was filmed over the second round of lockdowns - which shows Heather performing their most honest lyrics to date in an incredibly vulnerable performance. The clip shows them wearing Cry Club’s signature face-painted tears, which are then chroma-keyed to show clips and Instagram stories of the duo performing live.
Mentioning before how energetic their live performances are, there’s a strong juxtaposition watching the montage of these shows in the painted tears as Heather sings in a melancholic tone. There’s a separation of moods and environments here, perhaps even more emphasised by Heather’s vocals slowly fading into an auto-tuned performance throughout the song.
What I took away from this was that there’s a juxtaposition seen in multiple layers. One between the auto-tune vocals and the acoustic guitar, and another between the energetic live performances seen only through Heather’s tears, while the whole song itself feels like it could exist in contrast with the other songs on the album.
Or maybe I’m looking too much into it - because I have been thinking about this song a lot since it’s release. I really adore this song, as it shows just how dynamic this pair are. They can make you dance, they can empower you, they can make you fall in love, and they can make you cry.
Lighters is taken from Cry Club’s debut album God I’m Such A Mess - out Nov 13, which you can preorder here.