Introducing Cry Club and their incredible debut single, Walk Away
The Wollongong post-punk duo launch onto the scene with a single that dives into the anguish of queer Australians during the 2017 plebiscite.
Header photo by Cath Connell.
There's something remarkably powerful about the music coming from queer Australians in the last twelve months. Whether it's artists like Alex The Astronaut, Cub Sport or even big-name pop heavyweight Troye Sivan putting out empowering and assuring anthems of love and resilience, or, on the other side of the spectrum, other names releasing tension and anguish in impactful and cathartic cries which have made up some of the most gripping and emotive Australian music of the past year. Wollongong post-punk-pop duo Cry Club are a pairing doing the latter with their sensational debut single Walk Away, putting out a v-important and impactful message while also releasing one of the best debut singles of the year.
Walk Away is a gripping and emotion-driven anthem that blurs genre lines in the best of ways, combining this ripping punk-esque instrumental with the accessible and captivating vocals you'd more expect from a slick pop release, tying them together in a quick-paced, two-minute power-anthem that'll leave you floored. "I had coffee with a relative who was like ‘you know I love you, but I’m absolutely voting no’," explains vocalist Heather Riley on the single, which they say discusses when a person’s 'mask' is lifted to reveal bigotry - something queer Australians became all-so-familiar with during the same-sex plebiscite last year. "We argued about it for ages because like, if they meant that, they wouldn’t be acting like this."
With their debut single shining with brilliance beyond their years and a couple of big shows coming up - including dates at BIGSOUND and Yours & Owls Festival - meet the duo and get to know them a little better below:
Tell us about yourself?
We’re Cry Club! It’s Jono and Heather - we try and make our tastes meet in the middle with post-punk and shoegaze from one side and pop from another. We started in January this year and have been doing our best to gig our butts off!
What’s the vibe music-wise?
J - The instrumentation is often based off a lot of teenage influences like Sonic Youth, LCD Soundsystem, Liars and My Bloody Valentine. After years of playing a wide variety of styles (from Mathcore to Pop), Cry Club represents me returning home to my first loves of washy guitars and sad dance-y music.
H - I would describe it as noisy, hyperactive, guitar-driven queer pop that embraces being emotional and melodramatic. A lot of the songs begin from a super personal place, so we allow that raw emotion and vulnerability to seep into the lyrics and make something that’s very truthful and open!! We generally love making music that you could cry and dance to at the same time (one of my favourite hobbies ;) )
What are your production and writing processes like?
J - I often approach tracks thinking I want to combine a couple of different ideas, like one track recently I wanted to hit a balance of Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot and Peter Hook’s bass lines so balancing those aspects makes my brain fire off into nerdy problem solving haha. For Cry Club as well the rule is one guitar, one bass, a drum part and vocals so I’m not allowed to go crazy in layering things up/adding unnecessary parts which creates limitations, though are always useful.
H - When we first started writing songs I was super nervous because I had uhhhhh pretty much ZERO song writing experience. I could play guitar well enough to busk outside clubs for drunk people, but nothing really special in terms of composing songs. I’m also not very good with words, so writing lyrics that weren’t either I was petrified to work with Certified Musical Genius™ Jono, but he set up a system at first where he would show me the song, we’d agree on a “vibe”, and then pull real-world experiences to flesh out the lyrics until it became more natural. We’ve written songs in a bunch of different ways now, together acoustically from scratch, or sometimes picking a band we like and being like “hey let’s write a Future of the Left pop song!” and chuck something straight into Protools together! It’s very flexible, and now songwriting is something I crave and not something I totally dread.
Can you tell us about your new single, Walk Away?
J - When putting together the instrumental I think I had been wanting to make something super short and sharp after having written a few more melodic/poppy songs - always nice to be able to write whatever I like and then Heather is always able to make it sound like pop to me haha.
H - Jono showed me this like, finished instrumental track, it was so PRESENT and IMMEDIATE, this kind of empowering “I’m gonna punch the sun” vibe. We wrote a lot of songs in the middle of the Marriage Equality postal vote; it was a time where I had a LOT of anger, fear and helplessness bubbling inside me, and no real way to release any of it. It was kinda like being in a pressure cooker for half a year!! Lyrically, the song was inspired by those family members who swore up and down that they loved me, but they were voting no. It made zero sense to me; it’s very weird to think “oh, cool, so you still think there’s this part of me that’s dirty and wrong.” When you listen to Walk Away, you’re hearing this explosion of queer anguish from people who really had no other way to release it. Luckily now, through playing in Cry Club, I’ve replaced many of those old, bigoted family members with other queer and trans people who support us and are there for us! It’s very empowering to have this be our debut, and the response has been overwhelming and validating as fuck.
Any shows coming up?
J - We just got announced for Moaning Lisa’s tour for their single Good (which is, as the title suggests - very good!) and we’re also doing a fundraising event for the Dreaming Inside project in Wollongong just before kicking that off! There are also a few festival dates we’re super excited for, including BIGSOUND and Yours and Owls!
July 28th/Wollongong - Take Care Fest w/ Sports Bra + Good Pash
August 10th/Sydney - Waywards w/ Sports Bra
August 16th/Melbourne - The Old Bar w/ Porpoise Spit + Freya
August 30th/Canberra - Transit Bar w/ Slagatha Christie
September 4-7th/Brisbane - BIGSOUND
September 30th/Wollongong - Yours and Owls Festival
What’s the rest of the year have in store for you?
J - Just hitting the road/lining up more gigs and hopefully recording a few more songs! We’re still finding our feet so are very keen to just keep writing and play more shows.
H - YES, MORE GIGS!! Performing live is what keeps me breathing, I just want us to play as many gigs as possible and meet as many lovely people as possible. I’m reeeeeeally looking forward to BIGSOUND and Yours and Owls; I’m super keen to play a big festival! We’ll also have a music video for Walk Away coming out soon that I’m really excited about!
Where can we find more of your music?
J - Currently all we have out is Walk Away, which should be on all platforms!
H - Yeah I think it’s even on Tidal, which makes me feel super fancy!
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