‘Back at the Bar’ out today!

by Sally on May 13, 2014

The new EP is out today!   It’s available on iTunes, Amazon and from our own Bandcamp store, (the latter being the only place you can pick up a limited edition physical CD).

The day began with this review from Vinyl District:

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Graded on a Curve: Sally Crewe,“Back at the Bar” EP

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Sally Crewe first arrived on the scene in 2003 with Drive It Like You Stole It, a record made in connection with her band the Sudden Moves. As additional releases have emerged, Crewe has become something of a well-kept secret with an impressive list of collaborators, and her new EP “Back at the Bar” reinforces the consistency of her pop-rock acumen on four originals and one well-chosen cover.

I’ve seen numerous photos of Sally Crewe, but never have I glimpsed her wearing a hat. Based on this lack of cap sightings her personal stance on said garment is of course still purely circumstantial. If Crewe does choose to sport a lid, it’s a plain fact that she’s been hanging it in Austin, TX for close to a decade now. And it would be easy to assume through this nugget of information that her choice of locale played an intrinsic role in Britt Daniel and Jim Eno of Spoon serving as the backing unit for her debut.

But that’d be a faulty conclusion, since Crewe was actually residing in England when that record was cut. Her relationship with Spoon (she and the band shared a label in 12XU) did commence some worthy connections, however. For starters, Kimberley Rew of the Soft Boys guested on her second full-length, 2005’s Shortly After Take Off, and once relocated in Austin (she’s also lived in NYC) Crewe formed a new Sudden Moves with drummer George Duron, a vet of Roky Erickson and Dumptruck, and bassist Matt Baab of The Distant Seconds.

Duron and Baab have hung with her ever since, though the latter doesn’t tour with Crewe, a circumstance that has found power pop champ Tommy Keene as her fill-in bass player. Additionally, a third long-player The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You appeared in ‘08. And a few years ago ex-Death of Samantha/Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard became a productive member of her musical family, going so far as to co-write the tunes on her EP “Transmit/Receive.”

The names above will definitely assist the unfamiliar in gathering a sense of Crewe’s sonic thrust, but worth noting is the frequent comparisons she garners to one Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. Nevertheless, in the interest of diversity I’ll mention that on “Back at the Bar”’s opener “Sooner or Later” her voice possesses a tangible if subtle similarity to Martha Davis from The Motels.

This resemblance is more than slight but not terribly deep. Crewe has an abundance of sly pop moves at her disposal, but like Hynde she’s a rocker deep down rather than, and this description shouldn’t be considered as a dismissal of Davis’ talents, a chanteuse that just happens to be backed up by guitar bass and drums.

And after collaborating with Gillard on “Transmit/Receive” she’s the sole composer of this EP’s four original compositions, with “Sooner or Later” blending elements of power pop’s melodic forcefulness with the songwriting complexity found in the more trad-minded guitar-focused outfits that flourished as part of the late-‘70s/early-‘80s New Wave. This is particularly apparent in the engaging non-simplicity of Duron’s drumming, with the aura of intricacy also discernible as the tune deftly slides into a slightly catchier mid-section.

And with the exception of Duron, every sound heard in the song is multitasked by Crewe, surely a notable feat. Plus, “Back at the Bar” lacks the conflicts of interest that weakened the releases of many new wave acts including the later-period Motels, specifically, a friction derived from the desires of pop chart potential filtered through the requirements of then contempo rock radio while attempting to retain loose ties to the new scene that spawned them.

Instead, Crewe and Duron’s co-production is full-bodied but lacking in unnecessary sheen. Handing the music off to Bob Weston for mastering was another bright decision. The cumulative effect well serves a tidy batch of songs that if referential to a certain style/period do avoid playing-up any explicit traits of the era; not retro or even neo, the work of Sally Crewe is brimming with a timelessness that’s refreshing.

And if she’s ultimately comparable to The Motels it’s to “Counting,” a number cut by that band’s first (and best) incarnation for a ’76 demo tape (spurned by Epic, the tune initially surfaced on the Rhino Records compilation Saturday Night Pogo, with the company later placing it in their killer comp series DIY, track three of We’re Desperate, the volume that profiled Los Angeles).

A major component throughout “Friends on the Radio” is the tough-minded songwriting smarts associated with the late-‘70s UK pop-auteur school (that’s Costello-Parker-Lowe-Jackson-Difford & Tilbrook), and as Crewe is from England this is really no surprise. But there’s also a hint of early Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in her guitar playing, and while her pipes are not as hearty, Crewe’s singing does bring Neko Case to mind.

Crewe writes with conciseness as an ideal. Only one of her originals here breaks the four-minute mark, her art largely following the age-old dictum “leave them wanting more,” though it should be emphasized that her material is fully-formed and rife with surprises. For example, “Antisocial” takes a somewhat buoyant melody and then heaps on thick bass lines and sturdy drumming as the riffing increases and eventually gives rise to soaring lead work.

By extension, “Buttons on the Boy Side” is mid-tempo pop infused with a robust sense of dynamics, especially in the final minute as it shifts to a heavier, more driving template before embarking on a nice fadeout. Crewe’s vocals are in typically strong form, though as the lengthiest of her tracks it is the EP’s one flirtation with excessiveness. Thankfully its best moments come late in the scenario.

But the longest entry on the disc is saved for last, a reverent yet distinctive reading of XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel.” It’s a swell version that fits in snugly with the overall quality of her tunes as it secures “Back at the Bar”’s level of success. Along the way it greatly underscores Crewe’s enduring affinity with a wide range of simultaneously stripped-down and intellectually-inclined pop-rock.

Gillard guests on the cut, adding his guitar and freeing up the leader to focus directly upon the vocals, though across the previous four tracks Crewe’s string-slinging holds enough spark that his arrival connects quite casually. Gillard’s presence does help to sum up a solid, vibrant effort from a veteran artist that’s been deserving of wider recognition for quite a while. For those needing relief from the malady of the Next Big Thing, “Back at the Bar” could easily provide an effective antidote.

GRADED ON A CURVE:
B+

http://www.thevinyldistrict.com/storefront/2014/05/graded-curve-sally-crewe-back-bar-ep/

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Limited Edition Pre-Order Available Now

by Sally on May 5, 2014

We have 100 copies of the new EP available for pre-order.  $7 including shipping.  The CDs will ship on release day next Tuesday (May 13th), but your purchase entitles you to an immediate digital download of all 5 tracks.

Find out more here! :  http://sallycrewe.bandcamp.com/album/back-at-the-bar

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New Record in a Few Weeks!

April 17, 2014

The new record, a 5-song EP, is coming out on May 13th (Sally’s birthday).  It will be available on Bandcamp and iTunes.  In addition, a limited number of physical copies will be available for mail order.  Watch this space.

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SXSW show confirmed

February 26, 2014

Me and the band are playing at the Blurt Magazine day party on Thursday 13th March.  It’s free!  No badges, wristbands, etc. required.  We’re closing out the night at half past midnight (I know, I know, that’s technically Friday… music listing rules make it Still Thursday).  Playing right before us at 11:50pm is Doug Gillard, […]

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New music soon

September 1, 2013

We have just booked studio time to mix our new EP, which we recorded over the summer at Jim Eno’s Public Hi-Fi studio here in Austin.  I would love to put this one out on vinyl, but no release details are locked down yet.

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Making Plans For Nigel

March 9, 2013

When I rescued a stripey stray kitten in 2007, George and I decided to call him Nigel, after the XTC song (and also to ensure he knew he was English).  He survived a house fire in 2009, and my following 6 changes in temporary address within a 9 month period, without a scratch.  Photos and videos […]

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Meet us at Austin’s coolest bar

January 24, 2013

Hello, friends!  We’re playing at The Sahara Lounge on Feb 6th.  We have some new songs to play for you, and Louie Lino will be joining us on keyboards.  Set times and opening band info coming soon.

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You can call it a comeback if you like

October 9, 2012

It seems unbelievable to me that the last Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves show was over a year ago.  Time flies!  But despite not playing live (in this band, at least), it’s been a productive and busy year.  I moved house, played a lot of drums, sang on a !!! (Chk Chk Chk) recording, broke […]

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Join me next Saturday to talk about music and food

November 6, 2011

I’m speaking on a panel next Saturday (12th), along with some of Austin’s most prominent women of rock! My panel is about staying healthy on the road, something I have a lot of experience in as a touring musician with food allergies (which led me to also become a certified holistic nutritionist last year), but […]

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Transmit/Receive – “everything a power pop album should be”

August 21, 2011

http://powerpopoverdose.blogspot.com/2011/08/sally-crewe-sudden-moves.html Austin Texas based Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves have done it again. Transmit​/​Receive is everything a Power Pop album should be, winning hooks and crunchy guitars that compliment electrifying vocals and smart songwriting. The energy and impact of the music is felt full force starting with “Make Me Stay” and continuing through this […]

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First ‘Transmit/Receive’ review!

August 19, 2011

From Powerpopaholic: Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves “Transmit/Receive”EP Even power pop legend Tommy Keene compared Sally Crewe to female rockers Chrissie Hynde and Polly Harvey. The comparison is quite accurate, as her vocals are powerful and very melodic, and the opener “Make Me Stay” is a riff heavy classic. Crewe is based in Austin, […]

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International Pop Overthrow Festival, Austin, TX

August 9, 2011

We’re headlining the second night (Sat, Oct 1st) of International Pop Overthrow (IPO) Austin, the first IPO to be held in Austin!  The line-up on our night is: 7:30 Shane Bartell 8:15 Buzzie 9:00 Blue Cartoon 9:45 Ron Flynt 10:30 Sparkwood 11:15 Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves It’s happening at The Beauty Bar, 617 […]

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Free unreleased track – ‘Living Like You’ve Got Forever’

August 1, 2011

Our new EP, ‘Transmit/Receive’, is out on Aug 30th.  It was co-written with our pal Doug Gillard, who also helped out on guitar.  Here’s track 3, ‘Living Like You’ve Got Forever’: Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves – ‘Living Like You’ve Got Forever’ Following the CD’s release, we head straight out on tour with Doug […]

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Unreleased new song for free download on Monday!

July 28, 2011

It’s just about one month before the official release of The Best Sudden Moves Record So Far (aka, ‘Transmit/Receive’). The 5-song EP comes out on Aug 30th, but you don’t have to wait that long to have a taste of it!  This coming Monday, Aug 1st, we’re giving away track 3, ‘Living Like You’ve Got […]

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WFMU session coming up

July 27, 2011

We’re looking forward to visiting Joe Belock at WFMU for his Three Chord Monte show on September 8th, from noon ’til 3pm. http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/TM Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves return to WFMU with a new release, the “Transmit/Receive” EP, and a new lead guitarist, the legendary Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Death of Samantha, etc.) […]

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Tour kick-off/CD release show in Austin

July 27, 2011

We’re opening for The Moaners at Red 7 on Saturday, Sept 3rd.  We leave on tour the next day, so this is technically the first date of the tour except we’ll sleep in our own beds (in theory).  It will also, unless you went to your local independent record retailer, be your first chance to […]

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Transmit + Receive

July 27, 2011

We were lucky enough to be granted permission by artist Tim Crowder to use one of his amazing paintings for the sleeve of our upcoming EP.  The painting, created in oil, enamel and embroidery on paper, is called ‘Transmit + Receive’, and I found out about it having already decided to call our upcoming EP […]

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First airplay for new EP

July 1, 2011

‘Living Like You’ve Got Forever’, a track from our upcoming ‘Transmit/Receive’ EP (released Aug 30th), kicked off BBC Radio’s ‘BBC Introducing’ show tonight in the UK.  The show is streaming on the BBC site for the next 7 days.  Skip past the local news to about 4:10 to hear the song! http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00hjv7z

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FREE new song coming soon

June 24, 2011

Our new E.P., ‘Transmit/Receive’, will be released on August 30th. To celebrate, we’ll be giving away one of the tracks in early August. Watch this space.

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Austin show 6/16 with Moonlight Towers

June 17, 2011

We’re playing Stubb’s on Thursday June 16th. Just the two bands to keep it early for a school night. We are on at 10, Towers at 11.

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Judgment Day cometh, we shall rocketh!

May 16, 2011

We’re playing Emo’s in our hometown, Austin, this coming Saturday. Saturday is May 21st, the day some people believe will be Judgment Day. (Don’t worry, it’s just like waiting to see if you got into SXSW – nothing’s going to happen until the end of the world in October). Support comes from fellow Austinites My […]

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New E.P. with Doug Gillard

May 10, 2011

Our upcoming 5 song E.P., ‘Transmit/Receive’, is currently being mastered! Release details will be available soon. The songs are: 1. Make Me Stay 2. Punk Rock Kid 3. Living Like You’ve Got Forever 4. Back Again 5. It’s Only Love Tracks 1-4 were co-written with Doug Gillard, who also added guitar and backing vocals to […]

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Septemeber tour

May 10, 2011

We’re delighted to announce we are hitting the road in September, along with our good pals and musical associates, Tommy Keene and Doug Gillard Electric! Tommy will have a brand new album out by then and we will have our new E.P. (see above). Doug will join us on the tour on guitar and George […]

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SXSW action

March 4, 2011

We’re playing twice during Austin’s annual SXSW festivities, and both times are FREE, no SXSW badge/wristband required. We hope you can make it out! The Doug Gillard Electric are also on the same bill as us both days, and George is playing drums for them. I think I’ve talked Doug into joining us for a […]

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The Cars are back! And they’re stealing our art!

February 25, 2011

Popmatters just informed me that one of my all time favourite bands, The Cars, are releasing their first new album in 24 years.  And on Matt’s birthday, no less (and 3 days before mine). Woot. What’s weird, though, is their album sleeve and the video for the single both contain some visuals that are eerily […]

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Recording booked!

January 27, 2011

We’re going back into the studio right after SXSW, and we’re taking Doug Gillard with us.  The results will most likely be released in the form of the EP.

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We play Austin on Friday

January 25, 2011

We’re playing Emo’s (inside stage), Austin, TX this Friday, January 28th.  Here’s the low down: Sally Crewe & The Sudden Moves at 10.30 w/ The Bremen Riot (12.30), Hundred Visions (11.30) and JBe (9.30). It’s our first performance in nearly 3 months, and the first with George in even longer since he was out of […]

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New song on ‘Casual Victim Pile II’ compilation

January 10, 2011

In late August we recorded a song for the upcoming ‘Casual Victim Pile II’ compilation. The album, available in either vinyl or downloadable formats, is released on February 22nd, but if you want to get your hands on it before then you can do so via the mp3 link below. You can pre-order the record […]

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Singing with Ted Leo & The Pharmacists at Austin City Limits Festival, 10/10/10

October 11, 2010

One of the definite highlights of the year for me was getting asked to perform ‘Bottled In Cork’ with TL/Rx again, this time at Austin City Limits festival. I’m not sure what the name of the stage was, but it was a big one! Unfortunately we haven’t been able to track down any video, but […]

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Singing with Ted Leo/Rx at ‘Matador At 21′, Las Vegas

October 9, 2010

I got to sing with Ted Leo & The Pharmacists again – twice! – at the insanely fun ‘Matador At 21′ party/lost weekend in Las Vegas. I had the pleasure of joining them on ‘Bottled In Cork’ a few times during our tour together earlier in the year, and was lucky to get to do […]

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