Track Review – Stillbirth / Alice Glass

If you ever though Ethan Kath was the one pulling the strings of Crystal Castles, ‘Stillbirth’ is a defiant response to that claim. With help from HEALTH man Jupiter Keyes, ‘Stillbirth’ proves that Glass was more than just a singer, as previously disputed by former partner Kath. ‘Stillbirth’ takes inspiration from the harsher elements of Crystal Castles discography, not to the extremes of ‘Doe Deer’ but not their pop-friendly hits ‘Not In Love’ or ‘Crimewave’ either. The lyrics are powerful and often evocative, alluding to the post on her new website where she states ‘Abuse isn’t always obvious and it doesn’t always involve black eyes’, but in the lyrics she sings ‘You don’t own me anymore’. It’s an empowerment anthem hidden in a beautiful razor-sharp electronic mess.

On ‘Stillbirth’, the vocals are also less blurred and robotic than in Crystal Castles material. Glass is given front and centre, which makes sense because she’s the perfect frontwoman and it’s about time she gets some attention beyond ‘that girl in CC’. Without Kath’s influences, Glass can freely move as she wants, expressing some of her most personal lyrics to date and also delivering an ear-splintering electronic punk song. Undoubtedly better than some of the cuts Kath has recently released still under the name of Crystal Castles.

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