James ‘Crywank’ Clayton is on his third record. He’s a DIY artist from Manchester and he’s written some of the most honest and frankly oft self-depreciating music of the last decade. Of course, in that time, Frightened Rabbit released Midnight Organ Fight, The National became a huge force and The Antlers became one of the cult bands of the new-sad revolution that saw us creased up into our own pillows in a way that ‘emo’ had only just seen us leave; but Crywank emerged in the anti-folk side of the spectrum, completely opposite the fictional creations of Laura Marling’s critically acclaimed records.
That’s not to say he’s not had some success on the way though and Tomorrow is Nearly Yesterday and Every Day is Stupid, his third record has proven to be Bandcamp’s #1 selling record of the week just finished, at the price of just £1 (or more).
The music itself hasn’t changed much aside from appearing to gain some production value, if not a lot. The opening lyrics of “Everyone I love is gonna die and I will die as well” mixed with Crywank’s trademark acoustic guitar is now joined by the tapping of a wooden drum box and mild reverberation on James’ vocals. It feels like nothing’s new here, but at the same time, James’ time as an artist has led him down a slightly more fluid path of songsmanship, making TiNY a much easier listen, even through track two’s Song For a Guilty Sadist which needs little description.
Overall, the record shows growth; from an artist that both revels in borderline juvenile emotions in a genre that’s never attempted to be progressive, TiNY… is a sign of maturity and for that, it should be lauded. Crywank is a shining example of why we so desperately need Bandcamp as a platform, even if he’s the most self depreciating artist we’ll listen to all year.