Come Play With Me Interview Series – Crake

There’s serendipity at play in part three of our interview series with artists involved in the Come Play compilation as we get back in touch with Crake, a delightful band we’ve had the pleasure of covering a couple of times in 2017. Their contribution to the compilation is a personal highlight of mine. Crake are led by Rowan who not only writes these charming and forlorn songs, she seems to make interview question answers sound alluringly handsome as well. You can listen along to ‘Little Chef’ as you read what Rowan has to say about it.

O: Little Chef’ is a beautiful, sombre and very personal sounding addition to the compilation. It’s quite different to the folk-tinged music heard on your recent EP. What can you tell us about the song and how do you go about choosing which song represents you best for a compilation like this?

Rowan: Little Chef is maybe one of the most raw and personal songs I’ve written in some ways. It’s about grieving and death and menstruation. But it is also about the wider politics of care, about how we don’t have the space or time to care for each other enough, but we can try.

It’s also the most collaborative song Crake has. The arrangement of the song was kindly put together by Alice from Post War Glamour Girls. Rob (our drummer) made the bold decision for me to put down the Hofner and to make a statement with the keys and I think this signaled an important creative change for Crake where we came together more as a band and felt free to push the boundaries a little more. The tape loops were the idea of Jamie who produced the song from Greenmount Studios. The line ‘politics of lonely’ was lifted from a Weakerthans song (okay, that last one may be plagiarism, not collaboration).

So you’re right, it stands very much outside of our usual sound, but I think of it as the song that contains the most of all of us, and I like that.

O: How did you come to get involved with Come Play With Me?

Rowan: It’s hard to miss the aesthetic of Come Play With Me if you have any involvement in the Leeds music scene and so through friends and social media I became aware of the singles club. When we applied, we were kindly asked if we wanted to take part in the compilation and we were really happy to be asked.

O: The compilation covers a lot of different bands and a wide variation of musical styles. Does being involved in this kind of project help you build relationships with other bands involved? Does it feel like a healthy landscape for West Yorkshire music at the moment?

Rowan: I see the question in two parts. Firstly, yes, I think it does help, especially as a new musician. It definitely helps you feel like you’re part of something. Like when I see a band’s playing a gig and I know they’ve had involvement with CPWM I feel there’s a nice connection. It helps weave threads between bands who may before have felt like they occupied different creative spaces. As for West Yorkshire being a healthy landscape for music, I think there is some magical stuff happening at the moment. However, the landscape is always going to be shaped by its wider contours, and it’s still a shame to see a dominating of certain scenes by those with wider social privileges.

O: Putting you on the spot, what’s the best song on this compilation?

Rowan: That is putting me on the spot. I had an early peak at the compilation and I look forward to giving it more of my attention and getting to know it better – there’s a lot of new music on it I look forward to letting sink in. The James and Truax single really stood out.

Question from Magic Mountain: ‘Your EP is called ‘By the Slime Mould’. We want to know, what in the heck is Slime Mould?’

Rowan: I get envious of people just finding out what Slime Moulds are. I want to feel that feeling all over again. After originally thought to be a fungus, Slime Moulds resist classification. They are single cell organisms that can aggregate together in colonies. They plan transport systems and make music. They manage decisions whilst lacking a central nervous system. And as Karen Barad notes “Slime Moulds… queer the nature of identity, calling into question the individual/group binary”.

Come Play With Me releases their Come Play compilation CD on 1st December. Order it here.

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