Jan 10, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Brooke Marsh
Later this week, Philadelphia-based duo Crooks & Nannies are back with their new EP, No Fun, coming January 13th via Grand Jury Music. The band debuted in 2015 with their first full-length album, Soup for My Girlfriend, and followed the year after with their sophomore effort, Ugly Laugh. They spent the next several years quiet before returning last year with a pair of singles, “control” and “Sorry.”
These tracks explored twangy indie rock, traced with gnarled emo edges, and frayed indie pop melodies. On their forthcoming EP, band members Madel Rafter and Sam Huntington knit these disparate stylistic threads together, crafting an offering that is at once intimate, confessional, jagged, and raging. Ahead of the record’s release, Crooks & Nannies are back today with an early listen to the EP’s title track, premiering with Under the Radar.
“No Fun” finds Rafter taking lead vocals, exploring themes of isolation and depression through the lens of a lone pinball player. The track begins slight and sparse, guided by twinkling keys, muted percussion, and Rafter’s emotive vocal performance, and steadily builds to soaring heights. As it unfurls, Rafter and Huntington shade the track with layers of distorted production and dissonant ambient touches, only for these to fall away for a show-stopping climax, carried by shimmering guitar lines and a tremendous gang vocal chorus.
Rafter explains of the single, “There was a man I saw a few years ago at an arcade in Philadelphia, sitting with an unwavering gaze on a Jurassic Park pinball machine. He had a big plastic cup half full with quarters on a stool next to him. He was set up before I got to the arcade and still staring at the game when I left. When I wrote ‘No Fun,’ I was feeling really checked out of the world. It’s about feeling insular and lonely, rejecting other people’s attempts at connection but not being quite sure why.”
Check out the song below. The No Fun EP is out January 13th via Grand Jury Music.