Crywank has been announcing its farewell plans since 2019.
Crywank has been announcing its farewell plans since 2019.

Halifax surprise-hosts famous anti-folk act Crywank on farewell tour

The beloved band plays Radstorm May 20.

Once you can get over the name, Crywank is the sort of band you tell all your friends about, a ‘just-trust-me’ look as you take the aux. Tracing the line between earnest and ironic with surgically precise lyrics, the band lives up to its anti-folk genre by mixing simple acoustics with fuzzed-out bridges, punked-up drums and all kinds of angst. Since its 2009 debut, a fervent online fan base has found names for their feelings in song titles like “Do You Have PPE for Self Esteem?” and “I Think I’m Dying and I’m Doing Nothing About It.”

The band formed in Manchester, UK, as a bedroom recording project of lead singer Jay Clayton. Lore (and Spotify) has it that back then Clayton didn’t even know a single chord—but this forced simplicity has always been part of the DIY aesthetic appeal. Fans of The Moldy Peaches and Daniel Johnson won’t need more convincing—but those who do should consider how Clayton’s songbook subverts the singer-songwriter role, aiming for self-criticism instead of self-pity.

It was announced in late 2019 that, once the band finished a tour in July 2020, Crywank would be no more. But, the end was put on pause by the pandemic—and in the meantime, Crywank dropped 2021’s Just Popping By To Say Hi, arguably the best album in its 10-LP-deep run: Its songs are aching and honest, delivering post-mortems on failed friendships and exploring how art shapes our self-perception.

Staving off the end of my new favourite band (I discovered Crywank through Just Popping By To Say Hi, but have since hoovered up its entire back catalogue) mightn’t be possible any longer, but at least the back-on farewell tour has a silver lining: Crywank will be playing Radstorm on Friday, May 20 at 7pm alongside Vulva Culture, Guard Petal and Jordaan Mason. The show bills itself as ‘bring your own tissues’—and I can’t think of a better start to Sad Girl Summer.

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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