It’s rare for things to feel and sound this raw and true. You may have discovered Crooks & Nannies – the West Philly duo of Sam Huntington & Max Rafter — on their early 2023 No Fun EP, a short-player that deserved every plaudit it received. Just last month, Paste proclaimed “what a joy it is to watch a band at the top of their game make such dazzling, singular tracks; how lucky we are that Crooks & Nannies have so, so much left to give.”
Today the band announced exactly what that more-to-give is: a new 10-song record, Real Life.
Alternating between painfully tender and jarringly obtuse, the childhood friends fashion themes of growth, loss, and transformation into off-kilter pop songs that whirr with the unpredictability of a failing engine. In early 2020, just days after Huntington decided to start hormone therapy, her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After his passing, she and Rafter retreated to the partially-finished, off-grid cabin that her father had been building prior to his diagnosis. It was the first time either of them had been back to their hometown in upstate NY since transitioning, and it resulted in a distinct contrast between vulnerable, melancholy hush and explosive, confused guitar throughout every fiber of their new record. “Temper” is the first tease, a song that feels like an open wound filled with sugar, a rumination on the difficulties of forgiveness.
You can preorder copies of the album now on limited edition cassette, highlighter yellow vinyl on Bandcamp, or on ultra clear wax anywhere else.