By James Pleasant
Experimental electronica duo Crystal Castles is back on the scene with their fourth studio album, Amnesty (I), the group’s first since the departure of former vocalist Alice Glass in 2014.
Crystal Castles, comprised of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Edith Frances, is donating sales proceeds from their aptly titled new album to human rights organization Amnesty International in an effort to help fight civil injustice around the world.
The idea for Crystal Castles’ work with Amnesty International was inspired by the organization asking the duo to produce a song for a charity release. Kath loved the idea so much he decided to produce an entire album with Amnesty International in mind.
“A lot of fucked up stuff is going on in 2016,” said Frances. “It’s been a year of glaring violations of human rights. As much as the world can seem scary, seeing how so many people are reacting is inspiring. It’s vital for us to actually support the people taking direct action to make a difference…we want our voices to call attention to issues that need to be illuminated.”
Amnesty International fights to prevent and expose human rights violations around the world through campaigns, court cases, charities, and other relief efforts. The organization works for LGBT rights, children’s rights, women’s rights, prisoner rights, and more, and fights against all forms of discrimination and civilian injustice.
“The world is at a critical tipping point,” said Frances. “Human rights have no borders, no language, no religion and no race. This applies to you and affects you…No longer can we sit back and watch and talk; what we really need right now is action.”
Frances also urges more musicians to donate the proceeds of their album sales to the charities of their choice.
Amnesty (I) has some themes of freedom of oppression, according to Frances, who became inspired by writing papers about human injustices around the world. Sonically, the album features the familiar dense, eerie synths, and ghostly, warped vocals from Crystal Castles’ previous work. Frances’ vocals range from ethereal to erratic, serving as a powerful teammate to Kath’s glitchy beats and trap-influenced instrumentals.
Check out the video for the single “Concrete,” off of Amnesty (I).
To learn more about Amnesty International, click here.