casper connect by tubafresh
Cover Art by Aronow
Photo Credit, from left to right: Lindsay Slay, King Texas, Bruce Kung
1. First off, who are we speaking with? If there's one thing we need to know about you, what is it?
You're speaking to Chanell Crichlow from tubafresh. I guess one thing you should know is that I'm a leo so my birthday is coming up!
2. My music review vocabulary is limited, so I won't pretend I know what I'm talking about in terms of fancy lingo. What I can say is that your music moves me immensely and I feel at home in it. What sorts of feelings do you hope to invoke within your fans when they listen to your music?
Thank you so much! I hope that folks feel like they can explore themselves and their emotions especially with feelings that don't easily come out. Casper Connect is really about letting go of all these expectations and building pressure and just releasing it and moving on to focusing on you.
3. How personal is your creative process? What parts of it do you find yourself revisiting the most?
The process is extremely personal. I'm the kind of person that works well not pushing the music out, so mostly I spend my time experiencing and living and letting things come up when they want to. I think that just generally lies within my own eternal clock and when sadness or happiness or love comes over me or when I actually want to express it. Sometimes I'm writing songs of feelings or things that happened like 5 years ago or when I was a kid. I find myself mostly revisiting love, past relationships, being a black woman and a queer masculine of center woman growing up in a West Indian family. These all seem to be rotating themes in my life, ha!
4. What did you do yesterday? Did you enjoy it?
Dang, well yesterday I hung around the house with my sweetheart and watched Glow. A little bit later we wen to a cute place on Atlantic avenue in Brooklyn called Bijan's and then schelped out to Williamsburg to see the fireworks. I enjoyed everything but trying to find parking in Williamsburg. It was a good day.
5. We love the new single, "Casper Connect". Can you give our readers two pieces of insight about it?
When I wrote this song I was bottling up a lot of emotions and felt like I just had to get through the days, months before I can really make the time to get to them and work things out. It went through different forms and changed up to the very last minute and just all came together. I took a different approach with this song and played almost every instrument on the track besides drums and trumpet, it was really fun to do.
6. You wake up tomorrow and things are suddenly perfect. Describe the world around you.
Maxine Waters is president, my mom, my sweetheart and me are in Trinidad on the beach drinking rum and coke and eating crab and dumpling. Solange and Toro Y Moi share the same stage and I have tickets. No one's posting selfies and queer black people are everywhere I go.
7. What does the future hold for you, musically and/or otherwise?
I'll be putting out more music and visuals, and am excited about doing some collaborations with all kinds of artists as well.
8. Pick a prominent moment in your life that you're comfortable sharing with us (good, bad or seemingly insignificant). What happened? Are there any sensory details that have stuck with you? How does it influence you today?
My granny passed this spring. I think about her a lot...I think about not seeing her before she passed, how she raised me and so many others, how she loved so blindly and selflessly. She was a great woman and sometimes I call Trinidad and want to ask for her, surprised she hasn't answered the phone. It's a crazy feeling of loss and not really knowing how to deal with it and how to understand it. I'm tearing up right now. It's a reminder to see people, really see them and love them. Today, that simple action is way too hard for most of us to do.
9. What's the coolest thing about you?
The coolest thing about me? Hmm, well I love my culture and my people and I think we are dope and have so much beauty on so many levels. So I guess the answer would have to be, all of me.
well, it's been ~six months since we shared doe deer's music with you and - good news - there's a new album!
official album description: "a collection of stupid songs that don't really mean anything"
sea foam's garbled stream-of-consciousness mini review: nostalgic, bird sounds, warm, fleeting, tranquil, soft, hopeful
read our interview with doe deer here! cover art by matt leibowitz!
THE LIGHTBULB CONSPIRACY BY ALEXIS SIKORSKY
we were astronauts and
archaeologists and mechanics;
getting drunk off communion wine
in a theocratic country with no believers.
I was the blowhole in a whale and
the trash heap at sea
I was a groundbreaking invention
hidden under planned obsolescence
you were the vitamin C I took daily and the cold I caught anyway
you were a ferris wheel showing a child the world at the top
forks coming off of screaming rivers and
diving into sidewalks holding handprints that weren't ours
throwing rotten eggs into ditches because what else would we do with them and
what else was there to do?
I filled a cracked bucket with jell-o and left it on your porch because
I knew you'd know what I meant
you painted a face around the hole I punched through the wall because
you knew I'd send a picture to my mom
we recited mournful monologues on the bruises in our bananas
we played pianos with our toes
we pinched the sun between our fingers
we were lost. we weren't alone.
FLUX (POEM) BY ALEXIS SIKORSKI/ INSTERSTELLAR ROMANCE (ALBUM) BY SEAN BURNETTE
this is the day before.
I kicked a sock off while I was sleeping.
stood by the door,
and I did not leave the house.
it was the green shirt from yesterday
ing like this truck stopping traffic
in the dead of nowhere
when I expected to be going
there it is.
an expectation, rightly so--
but I can't help thinking if I blink
or I'll disappear.
employing cryptic coloration when
no one employs me.
but there it is.
so there I go.
so here I go.
this is the closest I'll get to no man's land,
and I'm proud to say I'm terribly impatient.
the song you'd play at 00:00
sunglasses and a scarf out the window but
you still have your breath
and a mission,
with the end of the world
and you're ready,
you're so ready
but now you don't know what to think.
I don't know what to think.
I don't know,
but maybe I'll
soon, I do.
if you do.
fucking threw off my plan, you did.
(as if I'd ever had one)
I'm acting like a stereotype.
if I'm the thinker,
I'd better get going now.
it's best to travel with strangers--
they're not strangers by the end.
but then give it one week post-
and you'll be strangers again.
I don't know how to work a pay phone
but I'm out of service
and so is my ride.
was hanging off the back of a bus.
am I supposed to be stability?
this land is at too much of a slant.
like, I'm rolling down this hill right now;
he said he'd meet me at the bottom.
but did he?
it was like when this kid said I couldn't climb,
so I went up the tree in his backyard
and bridged it over to the roof.
I sat up there all day until he
walked out with his sister.
I hit him in the head with at least
I rolled down then too,
but this time I didn't
break my arm.
I somewhat resemble juggled
nope, you're wrong.
I'm not good at staying
where am I even going?
I'm not getting any closer.
I don't know what you look like anymore.
maybe I should cut my hair.
it's where I carry my stress.
it wasn't long enough to donate.
my flip-flop broke
so I threw it out the car
window into a ditch.
you didn't know my name.
but for a week there,
I was really good at running.
shit's getting weird.
a rabbit ran between my legs.
maybe I should've downloaded that gps.
I'm holding my keys between my knuckles.
a plastic cutout of an explosive device
hangs from my palm
"I'm the bomb"
so the power's out,
but only on the right.
chill, it's just like that boathouse behind the meridian center--
keep your head down and your peripherals open,
and you'll be fine
even if you're alone
and a little lonely.
I found a hermit crab in a seashell.
it didn't pinch me.
this guy really has an agenda against trains.
like, a crazy-ex-boyfriend-bordering-on-
he makes really good mac & cheese out
of the back of his pickup though,
so it balances out.
there's a streetlamp over the hill--
nope, it was a neighborhood
watch guy with a flood-
I proved I wasn't a hooligan with
my high school transcript.
damn university wouldn't accept
an unofficial copy
and I'd never taken it out of my
I am underwater.
I am everything.
I have it all.
they almost got me to stay.
that's all I'll say.
you'd think a place called
paradise would have more
do not park your car
in Austin, Texas.
no matter what you do
a dreaming dog.
the way their legs kick;
the way I'm kicking myself rn.
bought a phony ticket.
face down on the airport tile.
two toothbrushes by the sink.
we can't seem to sink.
but then again, everything always does seem to fall apart.
recorded between bedroom & dorm room, the boy ep is introverted melancholy tinged with perseverance. recommended listening: overcast skies, looking out a train window, under a blanket, shaky hands, indescribable feeling in your chest. so press that play button & settle in for the interview:
1. let's get to know you. what's on your mind right this second? if you were a season, which one would you be? why? what keeps you going? do you collect anything weird?
right this second i'm thinking about how much homework i have to do for this summer class i'm taking. if i were a season, i'd probably be winter because it's cool. i don't think i've ever collected anything weird. i used to collect rocks, i have a bunch of them hidden away somewhere in my room, so there's this giant bag of rocks just chilling in my closet or whatever. i also used to collect guitar picks and that was only weird because i would never use them. i actually didn't start using picks until this past november, and i've been playing guitar for nine years now. i also collect blank cassette tapes and CDs by stealing them but i won't go into detail about that.
2. the boy ep makes me sad in a nice way (like a nostalgic, sleepy, introverted, therapeutic, healing, hopeful way), which makes me want to ask what sort of place you were in when you wrote and recorded it. was there anything in particular influencing you at the time? was there anything in particular you hope the ep makes listeners feel or think about?
i wasn't in the best place while writing/recording it, but my main motive was to create something honest. a lot of young people suffer from anxiety, depression, feelings of isolation, etc. and although my music doesn't necessarily provide advice or hope for them, i guess in a way i was trying to convey to them that they shouldn't invalidate themselves based on their personal experiences. everyone goes through their own shit, and that's totally fine.
3. what role does making music play (and what role has it played previously) in your life?
music plays a pretty significant role in my life. i started writing my own songs when i was 14, and i started releasing material on bandcamp when i was 15. i like to think i've come a long way since then, because the songs i used to write were really bad. despite that, i've always been writing and making music and so far i think it's had a positive impact on who i am as a person.
4. lastly, what does the future look like?
i'm currently working on a full-length album, which i hope to finish by the end of august.
The Sober and Alone EP is haunting, melodic, relatable and seems profoundly personal, as music should be. Can you share a bit about what the creation process was like?
Well, first of all, I’m flattered! I have an insufferable tendency to downplay everything I do and create so that’s really nice to hear. These songs were written over a period of time—some of them are a year old, some of them were written while I was recording. Two of them were written while I was living abroad and having existential crises. I tend to write when I’m left with nothing else to distract myself from my feelings. Like most people, my creativity arrives in waves—sometimes they’re far apart. Lately, the waves have been rolling in strong and hard. I came home from a trip to Europe and was stuck in a serious depression. I am an introvert at heart but this time, I didn’t want to see ANYONE—and I didn’t for about a month. I’ve had “record a solo album” on my list of things to do for the last few years and I’m not sure exactly what made me do it, but I dove in. I spent a month barely sleeping, and being painfully depressed. I put all of that pain and hurt and confusion into recording; it was my outlet. I showed my mom the album and it made her cry. I guess the pain shows—haha.
Additionally, creating and sharing art are two vastly different experiences. What was it like to release this EP?
I’ve never recorded solo music (well, maybe a few songs here and there) and I’ve only been playing guitar for about a year-and-a-half so it was intimidating. The last band I was in was the first time I even wrote songs. I’ve played in lots and lots of bands but always as “the bass player” who played other people’s music. Anyway, it’s terrifying to spend so much time on something and then send it out into the world for everyone, busy with their lives, to listen to and judge. I honestly couldn’t tell if it was garbage or not—I was trapped in my room at all hours of the night (cliché, I know) recording and listening and mixing and I can’t tell if it made me feel more insane or... I finally sent a few songs to a friend and she said they were good so I felt some relief. Anyway, like I said earlier, I lack self-confidence so it was scary to share the album, but also, I created the music and the recordings for myself so whether people like it or not is an afterthought. It was more about, “Ok, Kye, time to do that thing you always talked about but always found a reason not to do.”
'The Gender Binary is a Jail Cell' is a great song title, ringing vastly true. We see on your Bandcamp that your pronouns are they/them. Has it been liberating to detach yourself from harmful gender stereotypes?
I should preface this answer by explaining some words and concepts I use—because not everyone knows or thinks about these things. Whereas gender is socially and culturally constructed, sex is biological—chromosomes, genitals, etc. The best way to put it is, sex is what’s between your legs and gender is what’s between your ears. Sex does not determine gender. They’re completely separate. Gender does not determine sexual orientation. Cis-gender (pronounced ‘sis’) is a term for someone who identifies their gender with the sex they were assigned at birth. A cis-male is someone who was born male, who identifies as male—and likewise for females. The ‘gender binary’ is basically the idea that there is ONLY male or female within the gender spectrum: it’s static and set in stone. What I mean to say is it’s completely bullshit because people are never one or the other (in my opinion).
The most liberating thing I’ve ever done was admit to myself, and the world, that I don’t fit in the gender binary. It’s very confusing to people and almost everyone I encounter uses the wrong pronouns. It’s really just an “okay, they don’t mean it maliciously” thing and also, I have to pick my battles. I get it. I look male. I can’t help that. I’ve always struggled with my sexual orientation and my gender because of the rules set in place by society about what I can and cannot do (because of my genitals). At first it was bisexual and then queer and then “maybe I’m gay, oh, but sometimes I like women too” and then finally I realised, “oh, right, I’m not one or the other, I’m all of it and none of it: I’m genderqueer and gender non-conforming [which generally falls into the ‘transgender’ spectrum].” When I first admitted it, I thought I needed to transform myself into a ‘woman’ (because I often feel more female) but soon realised that was playing into the binary as well. To me, there is nothing more toxic than Male/Female. Gender is fluid. Sometimes I dress more male. Sometimes I dress more female. Why does it matter? Why is one outfit ‘masculine’ and the other ‘feminine’? What I wear doesn’t change who I am inside. My genitals don’t determine who I am or how I express myself or who I’m attracted to.
Genderqueer people are sometimes asked to justify their identities, which is highly intrusive and is not expected of cisgender people. Do you find that you are sometimes asked to explain who you are because you don't identify with traditional gender roles? If so, how does this affect you and how do you hope to see society's understanding of gender identity progress?
I don’t feel like I have to justify myself to people because the whole process is in their heads. They can use the right pronouns and still see me as male. That’s not my battle. All I can do is be myself and explain who I am as best I can. The rest is for them to decide. If they don’t accept that people can live outside of the binary, that’s their business—but I’m doing it and it’s wonderful. I can’t control how someone labels me or categorizes me or judges me. That being said, when it comes to sexual relationships, it’s very confusing because I think most people still see me as a man, no matter what they say—which makes me feel shitty. Because of that, I don’t really ‘date’ anymore—haha.
I think the cis-male is stuck in a “THIS IS WHAT MEN DO” mindset (as conditioned from birth) yet “tranny porn” (I don’t like that word) is consumed by straight-males (not that anyone is admitting it) on a massive scale. It doesn’t line up. I just want to scream, “it’s okay to want to do ‘weird’ stuff, men of the world!” So, when men stare me down like I’m a monster, I’m never sure if they want to fuck me or kill me or both. It can be a bit much, but I guess I like that my appearance alone challenges some people. In my perfect world, gender wouldn’t exist and we could all be whomever we want to be regardless of genitalia. I should add that ‘female’ can be just as constricting and restricting of an idea, it’s not just ‘men’ who are trapped. Neither is right or wrong, it’s just strange.
But, really, people seem to always have a problem with “they/them” pronouns because it’s not “proper grammar”. But, really, what is grammar? It’s a bunch of rules created over time—but it changes. It slowly changes. Grammar and language aren’t set in stone. Everything is adaptable. We can accommodate human beings of all sorts into our dialect; it’s just a matter of rethinking how we communicate. Long story short, most people don’t get it and think people like me are mentally ill or are looking for attention. Yes, I’m mentally ill but that has nothing to do with my lack of gender. I’m not looking for attention—most of the time I want to go unnoticed. I would give anything to live in a world without a gender-binary. Yet, here I am, doing the best I can with where and when I live.
Sometimes, when listening to music, there are those, for lack of a better term, "fuck yeah!" moments where the lyrics hit the listener hard. I had a lot of these on my way through the Sober and Alone EP. Obviously all of the lyrics are important to you, but are there any that are especially meaningful and why?
“Deep inside, she longs for love, but all she feels is her pain” is the lyric that comes to mind. It’s something I’ve struggled with all of my life: loving myself. I’m a self-loathing expert; I’ve perfected the craft. This last year I’ve been really working on loving and accepting myself, but it’s so hard. Being gentle and kind to myself does not come naturally. Often I think, “it’d be much easier if someone could just come and love me because then I don’t have to love myself” but that doesn’t address the real issue. Someone else isn’t going to save me from myself.
What are you doing when you aren't playing music?
I’m compulsive and obsessive so when I get in a routine, I milk it for all it’s worth—but also I change my mind constantly so those routines are always fluctuating. What I mean to say is that last year at this time I was meditating and practicing yoga and running and hiking every single day. Two years ago at this time I was probably drunk or hungover in a pit of self-destruction and despair. Right now, I’m in a “I’m going to chain smoke and nap every afternoon and record a lot of music” phase. With all things that come and go in my life, the constants are music, photography, motorcycles, gardening, and reading. Of course, dealing with my mental health is a daily practice. Like creativity, my depression comes in waves and it’s something I’ve come to accept rather than try to deny. Also, I eat very healthy (so healthy I can’t even eat at restaurants) and I’m sober so I’m a real HOOT to be around.
What makes you smile?
Riding my motorcycle will, without fail, bring a smile to my face. It’s my go-to whenever I’m feeling down. A therapist once asked, “are you sure you should be doing such a dangerous activity when you’re feeling that low?” She was probably onto something, but it works every time, so… Also, my mom makes me smile a lot because she’s just about the cutest person I’ve ever seen.
What does your perfect day look like?
Every straight-male is wearing a dress and makeup and they’re all kissing each other on the cheek and talking about their feelings and crying and professing their love and realizing that masculinity (and femininity for that matter—the gender binary) is a prison but everyone holds the key to escape.