Crooks & Nannies, the West Philadelphia duo of Madel Rafter (they/them) & Sam Huntington (she/her), who ended 2022 supporting Rubblebucket, touring with Lucy Dacus, and signing to Grand Jury, are back with the eponymous final single off of their EP, “No Fun.” Crooks & Nannies’ No Fun EP is coming out this Friday, January 13th, on Grand Jury Music. The EP will include three exclusive and unreleased tracks, which will only be available with a purchase of the cassette. The band will be playing their release party this weekend, on January 15th, at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia with Another Michael & Empath.Crooks & Nannies share eponymous final EP single “No Fun”.
“No Fun” is penned and sung by Rafter. On “No Fun” they relay their experience during a time of anhedonia, unable to connect with the world and feeling the dark depths of that isolation. Rafter hones in on the lone pinball player, shut off from everything but the silver ball, and it’s trajectory around the slingshots, going through the motions of locked ball, to multiball, attempting to attain the highest score but more often than not failing and starting over from square one. “No Fun” is quintessentially Crooks & Nannies; from the sparse opening with Rafter’s vocals at the fore, a wonky recorder line accented by Huntington’s patchwork of ambient synths, building into a gang vocal chorus with an outro riff that sticks to you.
Speaking to the single, Rafter writes, “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.“
The band’s last single, “Sorry,” delved deeper into the twangy indie-rock with an edge of emo that permeates their new EP. Huntington, a trans woman, wrote the track around the time she began her transition from male to female. The song is full of frustrations; with herself, with the society she was in the process of coming out to, and the fears that accompany the courage of living authentically in a world that is, at every turn, hostile to trans people. Huntington’s vocals, captured in a one take demo the day the song was written, are full of this heartbreak, quivering and shaking with intensity throughout.
The first single off of the No Fun EP, “control,” saw Rafter writing about their struggles with mental health issues and grappling with intrusive thoughts. Rafter has a penchant for making jokes out of the darkness they’re experiencing, and on “control,” this is on full display. The track begins with Rafter’s tender, cracking vocals eeking out the refrain, “I wanna be in control.” As the song builds to its climax, their vocals build stronger, eventually rising to meet the track’s energy into a pleading scream, begging for control.
01/12 – Washington, DC @ Pie Shop w/ Tuff Lover & Cor De Luxe
01/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johny Brenda’s w/ Another Michael & Empath