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Many people may know Crawlers as the queer-coded, alt-rock band from TikTok. However, on the release of their debut album The Mess We Seem To Make, they have proven themselves as much more. I was given the chance to interview them at Brighton’s coveted Resident Records ahead of their in-store acoustic performance, where we discussed their new album, rise to fame and favourite creepy crawlies.

Crawlers’ rise to fame was not like other alternative rock bands that came before them. Of course, the quartet’s alt-grunge and emo-veered style gave them that dose of uniqueness that really stood them out from Merseyside neighbours such as The Mysterines. This was clearly received well and landed them their record deal with Polydor Records (Sam Fender, Ice Spice). However, Crawlers were the beneficiaries of TikTok’s recent exceeding influence over the music scene, with their breakout hit ‘Come Over (Again)’ going viral after releasing their debut self-titled EP. On reflection of their blow-up, Crawlers knew they had something special with this hit.

Amy: I think we knew, like when we recorded it, we knew […] it was really special and we always had the idea that this would change things for us. Because it was completely new songwriting and, yeah, it was just really exciting. But I don’t think we thought it would do what it ended up doing.

Holly: It was a very emotive song at that point. We had always been a very political band, and this was the first song of self-reflection and about a lot of hardship. […] It was really nice and cathartic to get it out there.ge

Image: Will Gaff

With their song taking over the internet, Crawlers developed a remarkable relationship with their fanbase, mirroring the dedication of My Chemical Romance and, more recently, Mother Mother, whom Crawlers are supporting on their UK-wide tour. They go the extra mile for their fans, holding listening parties and special events where the ‘Creepy Crawlers’ can meet and even befriend their idols. Concerning The Mess We Seem To Make, Crawlers hosted a listening party (or as they called it, ‘The Wake’) for their single ‘Would You Come to My Funeral’, an upbeat and driven track with emo influence that provides an anthemic punch to round off the first half of the album. Their consistent interaction with their fans highlights the true reasons of why they make music with so much heart. 

Holly: I was speaking to some fans and a lot of our fans have not even bought our album once. They brought it seven times, but not just because they wanted all the bearings, but because they wanted to support us. Yesterday, our fan Meg [Crawlers Superfan and ‘Creepy Crawlers’ fan account admin] went “I’m paying your rent”. I went, “You actually kind of are”. We wouldn’t be able to do anything that we’re doing now without the constant support of our dedicated fans. We’ve done everything we can to implement a safe space for young, marginalised groups and being able to see fans be so unapologetically themselves is absolutely everything. It makes me so happy

With the die-hard support of their fans, it’s no surprise Crawlers pulled out all the stops with this album. Leaning into themes of hardship and introspection, Crawlers expertly blended genres to curate a debut album unashamed of its vulnerability, embracing the complexities and difficulties of adolescence.

Image: Will Gaff

Holly: Overall, looking at The Mess We Seem To Make, it is that kind of looking at everything. We are self-aware that we fail and have problems […] and the kind of conversation and dialogue around it, but the lack of [a] fix. It doesn’t get into that kind of hopeful end until the last songs on the album. It’s for the self-aware, chronically online generation, which is basically me exposing myself. 

My standout track on this album had to be ‘Golden Bridge’, a slower, more orchestral take on the themes mentioned above. It leans into the feelings of grief and loss, utilising a beautiful piano foundation courtesy of Neil Cowley (known for his collaborations with Adele) to carry the song forward.

Holly: With ‘Golden Bridge’, it was written very early in 2021, before we were a funded band. We hadn’t got that cult following just yet. We kind of had a few sole supporters but not enough to have that belief. My nephew had just been born. When Eli was born, I was suddenly like, you know what, I am very depressed and thinking the worst things ever, but there are things that make you want to keep going. And I was there for when he first smiled which is kind of what the chorus is about.

This is an extremely solid debut album for Crawlers. They balance the project very well, from ballad-like tear jerkers in the forms of ‘Golden Bridge’ and ‘Come Over (Again)’ to the anthemic and driven grunge hits like ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Hit It Again’, and ‘What I Know is What I Love’. The die-hards have plenty to feast on. Whilst it may not be for everyone, and sometimes they bite off more than they can chew, it affirms Crawlers as a band to keep an eye on in the modern British guitar music scene. 

To watch the entire interview, be sure to follow the link to the official YouTube channel of The Badger

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