“As a group, we are constantly trying to strive [to create] a safe space,” says Crawlers vocalist Holly Minto. It’s an attitude that’s key to everything the Merseyside band do – from their gigs to their compassionate and gripping rock songs – and why they’re fast becoming the new band to believe in right now.
Although still relatively new – Minto co-founded the band with guitarist Amy Woodall and bassist Liv Kettle in late 2018, cementing their line-up with drummer Harry Breen in 2021 – they quickly scored a legion of loyal fans thanks to their commitment to addressing issues that affect themselves and their peers in their music. Whether they sing about social justice on the extremely urgent “Statues” of 2021 or the sexualization of people featuring women on the dark trampling of “Monroe”, they do not claim to have all the answers, but invite you to join them. on their journey to understand it – and themselves -.
‘Fuck Me (I Didn’t Know How To Say)’, their electrifying and important new single, is no different. Over searing rock riffs, it tackles the sensitive but still relevant subject of consent and sexual assault in a way that makes you look at the subject from a new angle and feels like your own experiences are being seen. “You deserve better so I gave you my bodyMinto whispers on the track, later adding, “The kisses that led to sex were pretty close.”
“I remember hearing this Leith Ross song [‘We’ll Never Have Sex’] and the lyrics”You kissed me just to kiss me“, she explains from her home in Liverpool. “I heard that and realized that at this point in my life, I felt like I hadn’t been kissed to be kissed. I felt like I had always expected more.” Like all Crawlers songs, it comes from an incredibly personal place and describes the feeling that you “are worth nothing but sex” and that you “owe something to other people, or owe a body just so you can feel some kind of love”. .
The song’s chorus addresses not knowing how to tell a sexual partner what you want — or don’t want — and the pressure that can come from intimate situations. “I said it was good in your defense“Acknowledges Minto. “But I didn’t know how to tell you that I didn’t want you to touch me.“These are lyrics that highlight some of the complexities of consent and the fact that it’s not always black or white.
With such a nuanced issue, it can be difficult to know how to improve education and awareness about it, but she suggests that consent be taught in schools “not just in a sexual way” as a step in the right direction. “‘No means no’ applies to all circumstances and respecting one’s boundaries from an early age is what it’s all about,” she explains. “Teaching this and what it means from an early age is so important. It’s still very difficult to teach these things because there are such blurred lines, but hopefully as we grow up, it will become more of a thoughtful thing.
“Fuck Me” will not only spark conversation around this topic, but also raise awareness for charities working in this area. The group is partnering with Brook, an organization that provides sexual health, education and wellbeing services to young people across the UK, and will raise funds for them through merchandising and other means. “Making a single with such a difficult subject, we’re going to do it with as much sensitivity as possible and make sure that we now have a label [Crawlers are signed to Polydor] and financial support, we do it in a way that is safe for our listeners,” says Minto.
The decision reflects how much thought the band put into the decision to make a song centered on such a sensitive topic a single – which their frontman notes is a bit risky. Although it comes with “a lot of emotional baggage” and the fact that singing it live can sometimes be a lot for them, moving forward with this decision says a lot about the Crawlers refusal to walk away from the issues. difficult as they continue. their mission.
“I’m really happy to give the subject a little more platform,” the singer adds. “We had people [who’ve seen us] live or seen the teasers say the song is already resonating with them. It’s good to give them a voice with this song and to prove to them that you are not alone and that you are worth much more than you think you have to give sometimes.
It’s not just through their songs that the Crawlers create a safe space for their fans. Their live shows are also a place where everyone can be themselves and celebrate who they are. At a gig in Manchester earlier this year, the band invited longtime fan called Connor, who is deaf, to do a signed version of their viral and emotional 2021 single “Come Over Again”. “I think a lot of people forget that the deaf community can appreciate music and can be involved,” Minto says. “It’s such an underrepresented community in music. Connor has been an incredible supporter for us – being able to organize this was wonderful and seeing our words in another language was just mind blowing. Definitely a lifetime memory for us.
In the near future, the Crawlers will create even more memories to cherish for years to come. Next week (May 27) they will open for My Chemical Romance in Warrington, the hometown of Woodall and Kettle. “Cry, shit, vomit!” Minto responds enthusiastically when asked what this opportunity means to them. “I’ve always been an emo kid at heart. In high school, MCR was my comfort band so it’s just crazy. The vibes are gonna be pristine and playing in front of a crowd of people I know I’d be in is a dream come true.
After that, the quartet will head to the United States for the first time for a flagship tour and festival dates. Two EPs and a handful of singles, it seems incredibly early in their journey to embark on such an adventure, but the fact that they are only speaks to the extent of their impact. “We are lucky that even on our first outing [2019’s trumpet-laced single ‘So Tired’] we had loads of people in America streaming our music,” their singer says. “To be able to go out there and see all the fans that have been supporting us from the start, it’s going to be crazy.”
Beyond that, Crawlers will spend 2022 sharing even more inventive and inspiring music with the world. Where “Fuck Me” draws inspiration from hip-hop beats, their upcoming tracks take their “no rules” approach to mixing genres even further. “We have a pop song in drop C tuning, very withdrawn acoustic songs with trumpet swells [in the vein of] Neutral Milk Hotel,” Minto lists. “We also played with influences like The Cure, Bauhaus and Fleetwood Mac, which we hadn’t really explored before. It’s nice not to feel boxed in – it will confuse some listeners, but we’re actually doing what we love and it’s a great place.
This assessment of where they stand right now seems broadly applicable to the world at large as the group continues its ascent. Life can be a struggle with countless trials to go through, but with the Crawlers around to help us all along the way, it’s an infinitely better journey to take.
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