Krrum – Phase
Krrum, the pseudonym of Leeds-based producer and songwriter Alex Carrie, will release his debut album, Honeymoon on June 15th via 37 Adventures / +1 Records. After sharing the first album single “Waves” this Spring, Krrum returns with a second album cut “Phase.” Here Krrum employs dense electronics and brooding bass lines to create a relentlessly expansive sound that melds elements of art-rock and pop. The pace of “Phase” is less frenetic than “Waves,” but once again put Krrum’s penchant for the eclectic on display. The track was an unexpected product of a free-form studio session. “It kind of just came together and pushed our sound in a direction we hadn’t played with before,” Krrum says. “Those songs tend to be the ones that stick with me.”
Having made a big splash with singles “Evil Twin” and “Moon”, the debut Krrum album Honeymoon fulfills all Alex’s promise over 12 songs distinguished by sharp hooks and sweltering jams, bold and soulful dynamics and an organic-synthesized palate of sound that’s shot through with intensely honest lyrics about the perils of relationships and identity crises.
From the Dark Peaks region of North Derbyshire, Alex grew up in relative isolation, too far away from the nearest city (Sheffield) to imbibe its influence. Instead, impressed by a visiting brass band and a drum workshop at school, he took up trumpet and drums before venturing into production and songwriting, “writing sad songs – emo lyrics. I was a typical angsty teenager.”
Working summers as a tour guide in the eerie Peak Cavern caves, Alex began experimenting in digital production, influenced by the darker forms of hip hop and pop. Moving to Leeds to study production, Alex started remixing for friends, and then started co-songwriting with some university pals, including Harrison Warke, who lived in the flat below Alex and now contributes his vocal, guitar and songwriting talents to Honeymoon.
“We both find listening to depressing music to be cathartic,” says Harrison – exactly the intended impact of Honeymoon’s heightened narratives, which Alex summarises as, “getting a handle on yourself, coping with being a hedonistic mess, and trying to find out what’s important to you.”
One such narrative was Krrum’s second single “Evil Twin”, released in 2016 by 37 Adventures / +1 Records: a dialogue between the part of the brain that wants to stay young, and live large, and the part that longs to grow up, and grow. “Evil Twin” also illustrated Krrum’s genre-busting pop modernism: brassy synth stabs, more than one vocal hook and a euphoric chorus, underpinned by percussive crunch and synths.
“Evil Twin” topped the Spotify Global Viral, Shazam and Hype Machine Charts and picked up support at Radio 1, Beats 1, 6Music and SiriusXM Alt Nation, with Krrum then playing Pitchfork Paris, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Lovebox festivals as a four-piece band, with Harrison (guitar, vocals), Charlie Webb (drums) and Thomas Trueman (keys) expanding Krrum’s human touch. ‘Evil Twin’ also received placement in an Apple Commercial. Follow-Up Singles “Still Love”, “Hard On You” and “Moon’” maintained momentum while the album was being recorded.
The album title, Alex explains, “is a bit of a spin on the word, because ‘honeymoon’ is always seen as a positive. For me, it’s the period after the event of being a kid and a student, and dealing with the aftermath.”
There’s a lot of angst on Honeymoon – including “Moon” (“the ritual of wanting to pursue a relationship with someone, but not wanting to jump the gun and ruin it”), “Waves” (“being scared of repeating things and having no control over it, like your life is predetermined”), and “I Thought I Murdered You?” (“trying to keep your life and health together but the temptations of your vices cropping up, when you thought you’d done your best to stamp them out.”)
But the aftermath can also be a time of calm reflection. While “Doom Is The Mood I’m In” muses on what might happen if your ex wanted you back, “Blessing In A Black Dress” (a different version to that created for Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac) is that moment when your ex apologizes, but you realize you’re happier to leave the relationship behind.
The album’s swarthy, sensual “Honey, I Feel Like Sinning” ends the album on an optimistic high: “You’re looking back at the best time you had with someone,” says Alex.
Honeymoon is simply a brilliant debut, music for the heart, soul and mind.