Single of the week: Crake – Lamb’s Tail review

by Jo Higgs

With Crake’s new single, Lamb’s Tail, referring to a song as an ‘offering’ has never felt so appropriate – its slow eeriness and haunting music video render the whole thing ceremonial: a celebratory giving to some natural god-type-being. 

Dropping the listener into what seems like the midst of an intimate and grief-stricken pleading to an ethereal other, Lamb’s Tail is wilfully jilting from the off. That said, singer, Rowan Sandle, is equally as eager to chorale the audience into empathetic engagement with her gorgeous lyrics, as to bring them tentatively into a truly private moment.

There’s a gentle brooding element to the instrumental – gradually egging itself on to grow bigger than it should. Dynamics are toyed with deftly – never seeing the song rise into what occasionally seems like an inevitable burst that would ultimately scupper the airy effects of these gently rolling hills of sound. Maybe a band is at their best when they have the maturity to refuse the drags and pulls of standard extreme ‘loud-quiet-loud’ arcs? 

Lamb’s Tail is an open ended love-letter to nature, or spirituality, or the world – or maybe anything. The physically grounded lyrics of pussy-willow, cats, skin, islands are sparse and vague enough in their connection to one another to be open to interpretation in the most beautiful of ways, but specific enough to provoke a curiosity and longing that will see individual lines cascade in and out of your mind for the coming weeks.

The Leeds four-piece never fail to produce immortally thought-provoking and chilling songs, and Lamb’s Tail is just the latest testament to this increasingly assured truth. Consider it a maxim: when Crake releases music, listeners will be entranced by it. 

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