Crystal Fighters - Everything Is My Family
Crystal Fighters are all about peace, love and unity, the three pillars on which their third album “Everything Is My Family” stand, a record born from the tragic loss of their drummer that shows that strength comes from togetherness and companionship.
Crystal Fighters have a special place in my heart and that’s because some of my most memorable moments at festivals have all come from seeing this band perform live, It’s hard to describe the atmosphere and general feeling of love and bliss created by this band when they take to the stage whether it’s seeing them support Two Door Cinema Club in a packed out O2 Arena, dancing among the palm tree’s in the Coachella valley or performing a now legendary set at Glastonbury in 2014 (where they packed out the John Peel tent early in the afternoon. Check it out below!)
Unfortunately shortly after their standout performance tragedy struck due to the untimely and very sad passing of their drummer Andrea Marongiu. it was then fan’s doubted whether they would even return to the stage, let alone create another album (and understandably so) however they posted a statement thanking everyone for the love shown and a desire to carry on in his memory.
That brings us to the release of their third LP “Everything Is My Family”, It’s got that distinctive Crystal Fighters sound about it, the one that infuses peace, love and generally hippiness with pounding dance beats alongside infectious singalong’s which put strangers arm in arm. however like both their previous releases it has a clearly different style, it feels more packed with some of their longest ever tracks, each song also has more layers than they’ve tried to do previously. It’s also an album with more culture than ever before, it’s clearly been influenced from their world travels, where you could see their new music fitting in very well anywhere from Caribbean beaches to European clubs.
The album opens with a simple message with the spoken opening track “Simplecito”, I’m not usually a fan of spoken tracks but you can tell this has been well thought out, the words are truly moving as two voices (one Spanish I believe and one English) translate a beautiful message “If troubled times come, just embrace it, a little kiss, and then let go, very simple”
this leads into “Yellow Sun” an upbeat track that wouldn’t be a miss off their first two albums, it’s catchy chorus will have you chanting along, It’s a track all about moving on, and never has a band made it sound so easy to do.
“Good Girls” will have you whistling wildly, I’d also just like to note it’s refreshing to have not just a feverishly happy sounding heartbreak song but one that’s from a modern male perspective, It’s bound to be a festival favourite and live highlight, get ready to hear it in a field near you next summer. “In Your Arms” Is a dance song unlike anything they’ve done before, it wouldn’t sound out of place on Major Lazer’s latest record with it’s “Lean On” styled chorus where a distorted beat is used instead of Crystal Fighters usual reliance on a guitar. they go one further on the following track “Live For You” where the beat is slowed down but the autotune turned up, this time even their vocals get the treatment, it’s dreamy and space-like but unfortunately comes across a bit too bland and forgetful.
The eastern dance beats return for “Ways I Can’t Tell” which will have you throwing fists and probably yourself wildly in the air, the chorus will see electronic beats layered constantly on top of you before imploding in your ears and it’s glorious. first single “All Night” feels like the perfect mix of all three of their records put together, the girls singing “eya ah oh” to the catchy ukulele strums, before Sebastian and his mystical verses come in leading up to that harmonious chant “party all night, party all day”, it’s classic Crystal Fighters.
My favourite track on the album is “The Moondog” it’s a beautiful song which grows over it’s 6 minute runtime, layers upon layers of vocals overlap, and just when you think it’s reaching it’s climax it really hits you, the beats stop and “whatever happens to me or you, look up to our star and drift away” loudly echoes through your skull, before a mystical guitar solo engulfs the track. the band are all about peace, love and goodwill amongst everyone and Moondog embodies all of their ethics perfectly.
“Fly East” sounds like 70’s rock made in the mountains of the Himalaya’s, it’s certainly spiritual but feels like an effort to listen through and go back to as it seems to drag on over a long 7 minutes, it works well as a jam more than it does as a song. “Living the Dream” is a solid song but fails to standout amongst the crowd of hits on the album and therefore falls slightly flat amongst the rest, the album ends on a very high note however with the Andrea Marongiu dedicated “Lay Low” the band sing of “live life, love and grow” and “shinning your light”, it’s both joyful and sad but the perfect closer to the record, If you don’t have your arms round a complete stranger singing along to this when they play it live then you must have a heart of steel.
When I felt like Crystal Fighters had hit their peak they’ve returned with a more stronger effort than ever, I pray that they have been booked to perform at next years Glastonbury because the only thing more powerful than jamming out to these tracks in your home, is experiencing the true magic they bring to the stage in person…… and now they have 11 more brilliant party tracks to do just that with.