By Michael Grondin
CALGARY – Led by guitarist and vocalist Erin Jenkins and a rotating crew of musical friends, Crystal Eyes has developed into one of the city’s best projects. Utilizing elements of lush indie-pop, shoegaze, and garage rock, their sound is a captivating fever dream.
“I love playing live. It’s definitely a thrill and a rush for me. It’s hard to say no when cool people and great bands offer you a slot. It’s always an honour to share a stage with friends and people you look up to,” begins Jenkins. “The fact that I can be a part of this bigger thing is always exciting.”
Crystal Eyes have two releases under their electrifyingly washed out psychedelia, including last summer’s The Female Imagination, a dreamy and nebulous explosion.
Jenkins says new songs are on the way.
“There’s definitely a lot more writing happening at this stage. It’s one of those things where I want to write 30 songs but only record 10, and being picky about every aspect of what we’re doing, and taking that luxury time to make everything work the way we want it to,” she explains.
“We’ve definitely evolved. It started as a pretty simple musical project. Now we have two guitars, and a synth and there’s a lot of extra percussion. There’s a lot more thought, and layering, and everything is a lot more complex.”
Jenkins says all of the band’s live shows give her a platform to test out her new material and “trim the fat” while sharing her new sounds and ideas.
“Because we are in a writing phase, it’s always a very nice way to try things out and see how people respond in a live setting. It’s one thing to write and play a song in the jam room, but to actually get it out there and get it in front of people always gives you a nice perspective.”
And with a rotating and somewhat “convoluted” lineup (as Jenkin’s puts it) — currently consisting of Andy Flegel on drums, Kenny Murdoch on bass, Jordan Tettensor on guitar and Joleen Toner on synths — Crystal Eyes always has new energy influencing their live shows.
“If you’ve seen Crystal Eyes once, it’s at least gonna be slightly different, if not way, way, way different the next time, and I always appreciate the vibrancy in that,” she concludes.
Crystal Eyes play on August 8 and 9 with Wintersleep at the Palomino Smokehouse (Calgary)Crystal Eyes, Palomino Smokehouse, Shoegazey psych, Wintersleep