02/02/2019: “Crawshay” by Cymande

Cymande are masters of soulful grooves, delivering a wide range of delectable treats in a variety of fresh styles.

The band was formed in 1971, and disbanded in 1974. But in those 3 years, they released several albums of serious quality, which led to the band’s songs becoming widely played in the rare groove scene.

The members of the band were mainly of West Indian decent, but the band was based in London and can very much be considered an English funk band, like Hot Chocolate.

They later benefited from being sampled by various scenes, such as the house and hip hop scenes, and re-formed in 2014.

“Crawshay” is an instantly likeable slice of warm funk, with prominent, stuttering bassline providing the centrepoint of the track. The piano flirts and cavorts around the bassline, echoing and embellishing it, creating a a clever sort of combination hook.

The vocals are delivered in an idiosyncratic and rhythmic manner,  and are vaguely about getting over a break up. I say vaguely, because there’s a fair bit of repetition for emphasis, and it’s not obviously clear that the song has a central message. I also don’t know what the word “Crawshay” means…

“Crawshay” was released on the band’s second album, aptly named Second Time Round, in 1973.


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