Not since the legendary Crustaceans were boiling in 1995-’96 has one band named after shellfish emerged from the Gainesville, FL scene with such heat. Actually, Crawfishes—who recently relocated to Jacksonville’s hot-pot of musical talent—are one of the more compelling young groups working in the state right now, with a sound that is at once simple, yet highly complex.
Trading off on lead and support, Arend Rehder and Jade Tcimpidis are producing some of the best two-part harmonies this side of Kim and Kelley Deal, smartly framed with only Rehder’s acoustic guitar and the reverb of their own voices. The result is a sound so clean it borders on antiseptic, while retaining the true grit of mid-century folk, if not also the field hollers of a generation before. Now, it is hardly as if the presumably inevitable addition of more instruments will harm the music—it will be great, but different. As such, the EP is a key document at an early stage of what one expects should be busy careers.
“The Manor EP” runs five songs, running almost exactly ten minutes total, and can be downloaded from their website or bought directly at the show. (My favorite of the five tracks is “Mountains and Shit”, for what it’s worth.) They’ll probably only ask for a couple of bucks, which will be the best couple bucks you spend for days or weeks. One hopes the full-length is ready by summer, and that they get hooked up with one of the local indie labels like Skinny or Infinitesimal, which can push their product even further out. 2011 is looking to be a great year for Northeast Florida’s music scene, and the arrival of Crawfishes makes it all the more so.