With Crazy P's eighth studio album in stores now, singer Danielle Moore talks us through the album track-by-track...
Crazy P's eighth studio album Age Of The Ego dropped on !K7 on 3 May. A product of Nottingham, one of those unlikely centres of creativity you find dotted all over the UK, Crazy P are one of the UK’s finest exports, a production team and live outfit that have consistently delivered high-quality house, disco and boogie over their career, amassing a serious back catalogue of hi-tech, contemporary Midland Soul. They’ve also gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the top live acts in dance music.
To date, Crazy P have released eight studio albums, two remix albums and numerous singles, including a couple of bona fide dancefloor classics. Based around founder members Chris Todd and James Baron, who met at university in Nottingham in 1996, Crazy P now also features three other band members, Danielle Moore, Tim Davies and Matt Klose. Aside from Crazy P, both Todd and Baron have successful alter ego DJ and production careers with their Hot Toddy and Ron Basejam aliases.
The Crazy P sound has slowly expanded over the years and Age Of The Ego sees them continue to turn out expertly assembled, glitter-laden party tunes as well as Prince-esque electro-funk, ’yacht rock’-influenced grooves and poppier moments. There’s a broad range of mood: This Fire could very neatly soundtrack a montage in an 80s John Hughes movie, while album opener Is This All It Seems is a much moodier tech-disco affair. Lyrically, the themes on this album touch on some darker subjects, covering contemporary politics, the ills of social media and the inevitability of the passing of time. Album taster track The Witness was a delightful package of 80s-sounding synths and a catchy vocal hook which dropped to predictable acclaim at the start of the month.
The Crazies are currently on tour, promoting the album and trying to avoid being asked by journalists about their original name Crazy Penis for the millionth time. We spoke between gigs with vocalist and songwriter Danielle Moore, who kindly gave us a track-by-track run-down of the new album…
1. Is This All It Seems
"This track was born from a weird loopy run of samples Jim put together. It then felt right to jump on the vocal loopstation and get some tracked harmonies going. For me, the song is edged with darkness in feel, slightly aggy and jarring. Lyrically it fuelled a sense of frustration emotionally and so to the senseless games played in relationships: 'If you’re fooling around, then shame on your game.'I wanted to heavily effect the vocal to make it sound harsh. It’s layers of shizzle!"
2. The Witness
"This ia a commentary on 'the system' and how we're balls-deep in an alternative universe portrayed on social media. The Instagram reality! How we've become a divided world. How if we'd just drop our ego, our stubbornness we might stop wasting time being controlled and 'fight for the power of love'...!"
"This one was written in a barn in Anglesey, the home of the Gottwood Festival. I think this didn’t change much from its original conception. The five of us seemed to lock into a groove – to be honest, it's one of my faves on the album. It feels like a nod to the 80s huge synth pads sound, coupled with a steady groove. Lyrically its really about realising that some folk you don’t gel with. Don’t try too hard to rescue a relationship that's not meant to be. Simples!"
4. We Will Fuck you Up
"Well, blatantly a shot at the ridiculousness of the affairs in government stateside. Taking the role of the establishment and basically saying, 'We will play you all against each other and in the meantime make you think we care". If any of the songs were blatant through the title, it’s this one. Musically I love the fact it's like an acid throwback to the early 90s!"
"Positively mutated from its original more houser conception, we took this through a more melodic, orchestrated development. We also began to consider it as a potential set opener... and so the process took hold!"
"Conceived at the end of a two-week lockdown where the pressure was off and we felt a little funkier! I have a Helicon Voicebox and was playing around with that, Toddy and Tim were vibing and we had Jim set us up on the drum machine as Matt had gone home. It’s a flip on the love song; basically saying without you I stand even taller! Musically we've certainly taken inspiration from the Cameo, Prince, P-funk era. We've not tried to recreate it, we're just heavily influenced by it – we’re massive fans of that era! Again another of my fave tracks."
7. Step Into The Light
"A bit of fun this one! Loosely about the party scene, loosely about reaching your own high and feeling shitting amazing! No boundaries. No baggage… FUN! Musically, I think of Sledgehammer. Hopefully the royalties will reflect that!"
8. Love Is With You
"This is a beauty of a track produced and conceived by Jim and Chris. It's returning to their roots of being inspired by finding samples and recreating new music – it’s what they do brilliantly!"
9. This Fire
"I wrote the lyric for this as I was having a melancholy day, reflecting on how time passes, and seemingly even quicker as we get older. Just thinking about people around me who feel pressured to live up to an expectation. Marriage, kids, fitness, appearance, social acceptance, all the things that have seemed to have risen to the surface as communities have broken down, and the idea really looking out for one another. We used a gospel choir in this. We felt it deserved a bit of FIRE!"
10. Lean On Me
"I can't actually remember when we started on this one but I think it was before the jam sessions. It’s full-throttle electro, I suppose. Lyrically its challenging social media again and the repetition of bullshit we have to endure today. Boring bollocks. Makes me angry!"
11. Night Rain
"Again, this one just naturally fell out of the five of us as a team. I think it reflects our love of the 80s yacht rock ballad. We had no preconceived ideas, it just happened. Is it a reflection, a nod to our age? Yes most definitely, and with much pride!"
Words: Harold Heath Pic: R Kelly
Age Of The Ego is out now on !K7