Crying – “Emblem” (Stereogum Premiere)

Chiptune-rock virtuosos Crying have a stranglehold on controlled chaos: glitchy distortion threatens to bubble over, but never does; the vocals are always on the edge of disintegrating into the songs themselves, but never do. It’s a delicate tightrope game they’re playing, but so far they haven’t misstepped. “Emblem” is a highlight from their upcoming sophomore EP, Second Wind, and it’s emblematic (ha) of what makes the band work so well. Crying can’t really get any more maximalist: there’s almost no relief on any of their songs. It’s a constant assault of Game Boy bloops and brutal drumming, but they wisely choose to have their lyrics reflect inwards. “Respect my decision to keep inside of myself,” Elaiza Santos sings at the beginning of the song. “I am, I am still listening.” For as much as they sound like the life of the party, they’re really just using the extroverted nature of their music to turn their insecurities into a weapon. “I am slowly falling in love with myself.” The chorus could read as a call for empowerment: you need to learn to love yourself before you can open yourself up to others. Or it could be read as something a little more sinister, a nod towards the narcissism that can come with being too introverted, from being too into the idea of yourself. It’s a grey area that Crying are comfortable operating in, and it’s one of the reasons their lyrics are often purposefully indecipherable. Derive your own meanings, they’re not here to handhold. Listen below.

Get Olde / Second Wind is out 11/18 on Run For Cover.

Tags: Crying