Since the departure of Alice Glass back in 2014, Crystal Castles have gone through a forced process of evolution. Rather than dwelling on the loss of his electro-punk project’s most unpredictable asset, electronic mastermind Ethan Kath swiftly brought in an adequate and very familiar replacement. Edith Francis has all the hallmarks of Glass’ punk ethos down to a T, slipping into the role of destructive frontwoman with freakish ease.
The enigmatic Francis offered up her haunting vocals on the band’s fourth album Amnesty (I). Released back in August, Amnesty (I) was just as politically conscious as any of the band’s old material, tackling tough and often dark subjects of death, power and global inequality through hypnotic synthpop. The duo also announced in interviews that all proceeds from the album would be donated to the charity Amnesty International.
Crystal Castles phase two is in full swing, and the project has taken on a new found intrigue, even for the people who may miss Glass’ spooky aura. Francis’ live performance channels the same demonic, Goth spirit of her predecessor and, if anything, is more exciting to watch amongst the euphoric haze of Kath’s looped-up constructions. Catch Crystal Castle’s latest guise at Riverside, Newcastle on Wednesday 9th November.