Crystal Murray defies expectations on ‘Twisted Bases’ EP
|PRAISE FOR CRYSTAL MURRAY|
“as rebellious and creative in her look as she is with her approach to music”
“Crystal Murray Becomes Ice Cream for ‘Too Much To Taste'”
“slick, nonchalant vocals smothered atop the jazz-inflected production”
“seamlessly intertwining jazz, pulsating trap beats, and buttery smooth vocals”
“a sensual piece of fragmented neo-soul”
On the heels of Vogue tapping Crystal Murray for their Youthquake series spotlighting Gen Z artists who are radically reimagining the future, the 20-year-old Parisian artist today shares her much anticipated Twisted Bases EP via Because Music. As creative as it is rebellious and slick, listen to the dynamic collection of R&B 2.0, jazz, pop, and soul including new focus track “Hot Mess” HERE.
Written in the summer of 2020 while in residency in Portugal, and recorded in Paris with multi-instrumentalist Sacha Rudy, Twisted Bases offers a tantalizing taster of Crystal’s vast creative range, from the low slung beats of “Boss”, to the experimental pop of “Game,” which races by in a blur of digital glitches and pitch-shifting effects. The club-ready bounce of “Like It Nasty” is Missy Elliott meets Cut 4 Me-era Kelela, while the dazzling dance-pop of “Too Much To Taste” feels destined for summer airwaves.
Vocally, Murray cites the funk and soul singer Betty Davis as her biggest inspiration for the collection. She explains, “She screams what she wants to say in a super intense way and that’s how I wanted my voice to sound sometimes. Some of the songs I wanted to be intense, like my voice was an electric guitar, you know?”
This desire to scream and purge frustration and anger feeds into the themes of the record, which are inspired by Crystal’s own romantic experiences. Having fallen in love for the first time just prior to starting work on the record, she funneled the fury, fear and sense of insecurity she felt learning to let down her barriers into her songwriting. “I started screaming all these emotions out because I was just mad at being in love,” she laughs.
Raised in Paris by an African-American jazz saxophonist father and a Franca-Spanish mother who lived for music, Crystal grew up on tour listening to a rotating soundtrack of Sly & The Family Stone, Kelis, Macy Gray, John Coltrane, and more. By the age of 13, she’d gone viral as part of Gucci Gang – not the Hip Hop supergroup – a teenage fashion-influencer foursome bringing a Gen Z perspective to the Parisian fashion space. Vogue, I-D, Vice, Dazed, and more, took notice of their vision, but the foursome was quickly motivated to give back to other young women and use their influence for good. The collective started ‘Safe Place,’ an online platform that helps gives voice to people who have suffered sexual abuse and harassment.
Speaking on love, lust, parties, building expectations, and watching them come crashing down; Crystal’s lyricism is honest and raw, her sound energetic and soulful. The very antithesis of formulaic, her Twisted Bases EP encompasses every corner of her vast creative range and bristles with a healthy aptitude for rule-breaking. Veering between styles and genres not only across its entire runtime but often within the course of the same song, from low slung beats to glitched-out, pitched-shifted experimental pop to the confident, club-ready alt-R&B of “Like It Nasty” and the dazzling dance-pop of “Too Much to Taste,” and more. Written across stints in Portugal and recorded in Paris, Twisted Bases channels the fury, fear and sense of insecurity felt at the onset of a new romance, the imminent upside-downing of your entire world for better or for worse.
Twisted Bases EP by Crystal Murray is out now, buy/stream it here.
2. Like It Nasty
3. Slow Cadence (feat. Thee Dian)
4. Too Much To Taste
5. Other Men (feat. Le Diouck)
6. Dancing With The Devil
7. Love Song (feat. Zelooper)
9. Secure The Bag