An Autumn for Crippled Children – Nothing is (Still) Everything

Tuesday, 4th October 2016

In a move counter to their identity-less, mysterious existence, Netherlands blackgaze masters An Autumn for Crippled Children launched their own Facebook page a few years ago. Sure, the band had/has a Myspace page, while a fan-run Facebook page was hanging around for years. But for a band so prided on being anonymous, entering the tricky world of modern social media runs the risk of lifting the veil. Would posts showing the band eating dinner, at rehearsal, or going about their everyday lives now be the norm? Not so, thankfully.

“We actually never really resisted a Facebook page,” begins primary songwriter/guitarist/vocalist M. “We always thought it was unnecessary. We now see the benefits it can have in one’s band promotion. Fans seem to like it to interact directly with the band. Although we log in once a week or so, it’s also nice to see comments on posts, music, etc. I think it really helps with promotion since we don’t have a homepage.”

Even with their social media activity increased, AAFCC has found time to pop out a new album, Eternal, which quickly follows last year’s magnificent The Long Goodbye. As remarkably productive the band is, there is nary a dip in quality, as Eternal explores the brighter side of the band’s sound. Whereas its predecessor was bleak and depressive, Eternal’s melodies are more optimistic, which in a way, could be considered an oxymoron in the realms of blackgaze.

“We work pretty quick,” notes M. “We always lose ourselves in new material. Also, there is always a time between finishing an album and the actual release date, so when an album comes out it’s almost old for us. The Long Goodbye was a very depressive album. It is about losing someone who is slowly dying. Something that happened a couple of years ago. Lots of people lose other people, but still [it was] a heavy album for us. The new album has bigger melodies…probably poppier, also a clearer production.”

It could be stated Eternal further removes the band from blackgaze. The band has never been privy to extremity, with 2009’s Lost being the only AAFCC album that truly dabbles in such sounds. Indeed Eternal cuts like the brilliant “I Will Never Let You Die,” the Goth-infused “Farewell” and “You Have Been in the Shadows for So Long” help create further separation from the more popular, but less-valid Deafheaven and Ghost Bath.

“We always try to do something better,” says M. “Maybe someday all what we want to say will be said. That day has not come yet. There’s no big plan…we make this up as we go along. Not sure where it will lead. We do know that if we use clean singing it will all change dramatically, so no clean singing. If we will use clean singing in the future, we’ll change the name.”

An Autumn for Crippled Children’s catalog is both vast and highly-recommended. Therefore, it seemed like a good idea to rattle off five of the band’s best songs to get M’s opinion. (He even tossed in an additional track.) We also included the corresponding audio clip for your enjoyment:

1. “Avoiding Winter” (from 2013’s Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love)
M: You know that feeling when you just cannot deal with the cold and darkness, when it’s just too much?

2. “Yes…I Know…Love and Death…Always” (from 2012’s Only the Ocean Knows)
M: What most things come down to, but this track is very much about life! Rowdy track, in my opinion.

3. “Formlessness” (from 2011’s Everything)
M: An old favorite. The way the sounds open with around 1.15 with the clean guitar…a trick we discovered at the time. It’s a perfect pop song, really.

4. “Endless Skies” (from 2015’s The Long Goodbye)
M: Did you always stare at the clouds rushing by from a moving car as a kid? I did. This track brings that feeling back.

5. “I Will Never Let You Die” (from 2016’s Eternal)
M: Did you ever love something/someone so much you get this feeling? At the same lying to yourself? Big fucking synths on this track.

6. “Hearts of Light” (from 2013’s Try Not to Destroy Everything You Love)
M: One of my all-time favorite AAFCC tracks. [I love] the way it builds and builds.