See: Landscape-loving Leeds folksters Crake sign for Fika and reveal the breathy tranquillity of ‘Lamb’s Tail’


WITH a brace of cassettes, a couple of digital singles (2019’s “Dear Natalie” and this April’s Four Tracks) sandwiching a one-off 7″ for Nebraska’s Saddle Creek, “Enough Salt (For All Dogs)” of which there’s literally a handful left at Bandcamp, West Yorkshire’s Crake are stepping boldly forward and have signed for Fika Recordings, home to Tigercats, Darren Hayman, Emma Kupa, &c – and thus a lovely meeting of minds. Here’s to this for a partnership that should bring much musical joy.

If you’ve never come across Crake before, then we should briefly introduce a selection of sibilant musical seekers: Rowan Sandle, Russel Searle, Rob Slater and Sarah Statham. Rowan is, perhaps, the band’s visionary; she brings a fully fledged aesthetic of the pastoral and the psychogeographical, has brought songs to the Crake oeuvre concerning crinoids, slime mould and pussy willow – dipping into an older, wyrder England; and, if that name derives from where we imagine, the Margaret Atwood novel Oryx And Crake (which: read), thinks of a perhaps wilder, less anthropocentric future, too.

What might surprise you given what we’ve learnt so far is the warm, folk-rock hush of their aesthetic as displayed on “Lamb’s Tail”, their first outing for Fika; we’ve got the video for that down below. It’s got a transatlantic feel that’s part Fairport, part Edith Frost and others; and a natural, instinctive flow that indicates that Rowan and band live and breathe this. It’s no affectation. There’s a grace and a tranquillity at play; they’re at ease in this land.

She says: “When I was a kid and I was worried or anxious, I would leave it to the fates to tell me the outcome of whatever issue I was currently stuck on.

“I would ask my question to the ether and make up some rule to reveal to me my answer. For example, if whilst walking I land at a lamppost with my left foot, the answer is no, but if I land with my right, then yes.

“’Lamb’s Tail’ deals with a major question pertinent to me now – in my early thirties, without children but knowing I want them, I worry when. And at the opposite end of life’s flight, I’ve recently got to know grief. And it’s a lot.

“So sometimes we revert to silly rituals that comforted us as a child, noticing the pushing onwards of spring, or laughing at the fact that Rob once met a cat he could have sworn he taught drums to.”

Crake’s “Lamb’s Tail” is out via digital streaming platforms today.

Connect with Crake elsewhere online at Facebook, Bandcamp and Instagram.

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