Three Music Thingz with Crush Fund
feat. image photo credit: Malena Lloyd

Three Music Thingz with Crush Fund

Golly gee, it's another rendition of Three Music Thingz, the blogseries where I ask musicians for three thingz that are essential to their music-making.

Today we have Crush Fund!! Here is what you need to initially know about Crush Fund: They're a three-piece "fake punk girl band" in Brooklyn. Wendy Kya provides guitar, vocals, and production. Nora Knox: drums and vocals. July Brown: bass. The band just put out an EP called New Fixation last week.

New Fixation, by Crush Fund
5 track album

Listen, I lived in NYC for 11 years. I dined with the rats. The M train at one point stood for the Molly train. And if there's anything I can say, sweepingly, about the NYC DIY rock scene, it's that there is still a particular energy—ornery cheer? demented resilience?—that bands are tapping into even long after the Patti Smith times have passed. Crush Fund are tapped in for sure; the songs on New Fixation boil and bounce with that particular energy, splitting the difference between aggression and poppy exuberance.

My favorite song off the EP is "W.W.Y.D.," a call-and-response rager bound by a blistering rhythm section. After each section of the song collapses into chaos, we get a raspy command: "AGAIN!!!" Oh yes pls!!

Crush Fund sent me their wonderfully thoughtful three music thingz and I think you'll like them. So keep reading please...

  1. The Joy of the Mosh Pit :)
    You know when you're in the pit, being thrashed about like nobodies business, singing along to your favorite song, and you just transcend? It seems like the whole world is with you in that moment and all there is is music, sweat, and love. I don't remember the first mosh pit where I felt like that, but I can honestly say the pit has had just as much as an effect on me as the music has. Its a visceral way of experiencing you're favorite songs by your favorite artist, or an amazing way to fall in love with a band. And also just a fun way of having fun with your friends and larger community. I've made long lasting friends in the pit, and have had countless heartfelt moments of comradery and literally physical support, making sure everyone is having a safe and fun time.

    Since, I have always just wanted to recreate that feeling for others. I wanna get people moving, bouncing, grooving something. I come from the classical world originally and it felt so lifeless to not react to your favorite physically to the music, and I guess calling ourselves a dance punk band in the hopes of getting people moving/dancing/moshing is a reaction I'm having to that. Now as we get to start traveling and playing more shows, every now and then someone will come up to me telling me that was their first mosh pit, or their first punk show, and the glee on their face is always infectious and just makes my night. — Wendy Kya
  2. Collaboration
    As a listener, I have always been more drawn to bands than solo artists. The dynamic between each instrument and how each part interlocks is very exciting to me, like feeling a bunch of gears all spinning and rumbling in unison. And then, when you see a band live, and those dynamics are played out between performers – now that's the magic to me!

    The three of us in the band all come from different musical backgrounds and influences. None of the instruments the three of us play in Crush Fund are (or were) our "main" instrument. That brings a level of scrappiness to our sound as we duke out rhythms and melodies between us. Co-writing and collaboration with distinct musicians is a true challenge that, when accomplished, rewards with music that feels genuinely new. It's daunting, yet exciting, to cross the gaps between our different visions of what queer rock music can be.

    Over these last few years, me and Kya's collaborative songwriting has evolved and gotten stronger. It's a process that you need to practice and exercise. Early on, our different ideas of how we could sound (as well as a healthy amount of stubbornness all around) would sometimes grind progress to a halt. What we've now learned is how to narrow down what's important to us, and communicate one's idea without discarding another's. Many of my favorite songs we've written have come together bit by bit, combining my lyrics with Kya's riffs, or a beat of mine fleshed out with July's groove. It's this collaboration, with girls who have become like my sisters, that constantly renews my inspiration and excitement in rock music. — Nora Knox
  3. Trust
    When I think about what keeps Crush Fund going, what has brought us to where we are so far, what's behind our most powerful live moments and our best songwriting ideas, I think about trust. Making music, especially collaboratively and publicly, is a monumental trust exercise. Like Kya, I have a religious devotion to mosh pits. The only thing I love more than watching people mosh to our music is joining in those mosh pits myself. I jump into the pit in almost every show we play, often during the last twoish minutes of our song "Lightning Strikes." It took me a long time to learn how to play the bass in the pit. For a while, I struggled to maintain both my balance and my coordination. The turning point was trusting the audience: letting them push and hit me, knowing they'll catch me, and focusing just on my craft. The result has been joyous, celebratory violence every night, feeling immense love and togetherness as dozens of sweaty queers push and catch me.

    Also like Nora, I find so much purpose and depth in collaboration. Our best ideas are often the product of taking a nugget of an idea and passing it back and forth, polishing and editing. This too is an exercise of trust: letting your darlings get killed over and over, speaking honestly and frankly, abandoning ego and expectation. Just like getting my ass beat in the pit, this has had a learning curve. Every bump in that road is an opportunity for further trust, a trust which grows and is rewarded with both artistic catharsis and a deepening bond between us as bandmates. — July Brown

Heeeeell yes. Thank you Crush Fund! They're just coming off a spring tour with Ekko Astral, and they have a couple more East Coast dates in the next month or so. Listen to New Fixation while yer at it. And thanks for reading I Enjoy Music—if you like it, tell a friend.