Hailing from Catford in South London, Rodney Cromwell is the solo project of Adam Cresswell, founding member of indie-folktronica band Saloon and one half of electronic two-piece Arthur & Martha. On this EP, singer Alice Hubley (Arthur & Martha, Cosines) also features on the songs ‘Black Dog’ and ‘You Will Struggle’. The ‘Black Dog’ EP features alternate cuts of album tracks, cranking the ‘analogue synth disco’ knob up to eleven. We are premiering the first of these today for you – ‘Black Dog (Version)’ – a tight wicked revamp of this original track that not only makes it highly radio friendly, but is actually focused on depression – much like the days when The Smiths’ Morrissey was always crooning out depressing lyrics to otherwise upbeat melodies.
In the words of Adam Cresswell, “the driving influences weren’t musical but thematic – specifically the themes of mental illness and my own internal struggle with anxiety. As the lyrics deal with a lot of dark stuff, I wanted the music to be a ‘safe space’ – a return to the sound of the classic pre-computer led synthpop that I loved as kid. Those sounds being the chugging synth sequencing and phased synth strings of ‘I feel love’, the minor key piano lines of Pet Shop Boys, the chorus heavy lead bass of New Order. Some people think it is overly retro, but others see it as a pure form of futurism. For me the influences don’t matter, it is just about creating a world to escape into.”
This year Rodney Cromwell has shared the stage with Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier along with way, as well as Death & Vanilla most recently. He’ll also be appearing at the Electro London Festival coming up in January 2016.
1. Black Dog (Version)
2. You Will Struggle (Rod’s Glitchy Disco Mix)
3. Barry Was An Arms Dealer (AUW’s North-Poindexter Remix)
4. Black Dog (Extended Version)