:Video of the Day: Crystal Castles – Baptism
Artist: Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles are an experimental electronic band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, consisting of producer Ethan Kath and lyricist and vocalist Alice Glass. Crystal Castles are known for their chaotic live shows and their lo-fi home productions. The duo released many limited EPs between 2006 and 2007, and two eponymous albums in 2008 and 2010 to widespread critical acclaim. Their debut album was included in NME’s “Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade” list at #39.
Ethan Kath met Alice Glass in Toronto when she was 15. After hearing her sing in a local punk band, Fetus Fatale, Kath asked her to record vocals over tracks he had been working on since 2003. After writing some lyrics, she went to a studio to record them, where her soundcheck was secretly recorded. Six months later, Kath uploaded the finished songs to the internet, including “Alice Practice,” the results of the mic check, under the band name Crystal Castles, a tribute to a song featured in the cartoon She-Ra which featured the lyric “The fate of the world is safe in Crystal Castles.â€ In 2005 songs such as “Magic Spells”, “Untrust Us”, and “Alice Practice” grew popular online, and he began receiving offers from record labels. This news was especially shocking to Glass, having lost touch with Kath since the recording and up to that point unaware “Alice Practice” even existed. The song became the band’s first official release in 2006 on a limited vinyl which was released by London’s Merok Records.
Several limited edition 7″ vinyl singles followed in 2006 and 2007 on various independent labels, including two on London’s Trouble Records. In 2008, Lies Records collected most of the vinyl singles and released them on CD for the first time (also released as a double album on 12″ vinyl), along with many previously unreleased tracks and 3 songs recorded just for the collection. This eponymous debut album was included in NME’s “Top 100 Greatest Albums of the Decade” list at number 39.
The band’s second album, also self-titled (a.k.a. Crystal Castles (II)), was released on May 24, 2010. In April 2010, an early mix of the album leaked and without any record label promotion. The leak reached #1 on various electronic music charts worldwide. The album was produced by Ethan Kath at various locations, including a church in Iceland, a self-built cabin in northern Ontario, and an abandoned convenience store garage in Detroit, Michigan. Two songs were recorded in the London studio of Paul “Phones” Epworth.
The third single taken from the album, “Not in Love”, featuring Robert Smith from The Cure, is currently the band’s highest charting single to date.
Crystal Castles headlined the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour 2011 in the United Kingdom while singer Alice Glass suffered with a broken ankle.
On February 23, 2011 the band were awarded the “John Peel NME award for Innovation.”