Recently named as “Sheffield heroes”, The Crookes have once again proved their status and released a music video to Holy Innocents, the fifth track on the much anticipated Soapbox, the boys’ third studio album.
The video was exclusively released yesterday to impatient fans as it was sent directly to their email inboxes. The rest of the world had to wait until today to receive their Valentines gifts from Sheffield’s sweethearts.
I caught up with the boys shortly after this music video was announced, and drunkenly asked them, “is it any good?” Luckily, they laughed off my childish whims and told me to wait and see.
Oh, it’s good.
‘Holy Innocents’ is the perhaps the most charming song from Soapbox, beginning with delicate piano and soft vocals – a huge contrast to the unforgiving nature of the rest of the album. It feels like you’re in between thunderstorms, witnessing a clear sky before the clouds have time to darken once more.
The video itself is shot in black and white. I often joke about The Crookes’ fear of colour but the monochrome design suits them, providing a charming sense of nostalgia that you feel when watching old movies.
The melancholy is all too apparent in this video; every shot is taken from the boys’ recent trip to Italy, where they recorded Soapbox in an old Church that seems miles away from any sign of civilisation. This isolation perhaps influenced most of the third album, as the band seem insistent on doing things for themselves and not compromising their ideas for the sake of other people.
Russell Bates, the drummer, ‘vibes man’, and artistic director of the band was the man behind this masterpiece. Each shot offers a glimpse into the boys’ solitary confinement, the place that was their home for three weeks in October.
Recording the video in a Church offered a lot of religious symbolism, which is only reinforced by the song’s title: Holy Innocents. The world seems a bit softer when examined through George Waite’s voice, Daniel Hopewell’s words, Tom Dakin’s piano, and Russell’s keen eye – creating something beautiful in a place that looks so bleak.
You can see the boys (well, all of them except Russell) throughout the video, sitting alone, working hard. They seem almost detached from the song, and detached from the world. The lyrics to the song are written on the screen, as if insisting that fans cannot get these words wrong.
The song itself seems to rely heavily on nostalgia, and remembering a time that was perhaps more idyllic than it truly was – when everything appears innocent and unbroken before you started to look through the cracks.
The narrator of the song just wants peace; to spend time with their love without any interruption and without any drama. It’s something we can all relate to: preferring a world of silence to that of pointless noise.
The song finishes on a sorrowful note, whispering, “you’ve ruined everyone else for me”- as if the fragile innocence has disappeared from the relationship and so has the magic. The narrator hasn’t moved on from this love, and the video reinforces this bittersweet predicament with dreary images of Italian landscapes.
Watch the video to ‘Holy Innocents’ below: