Crumb’s second album, Ice Melt, takes its name from the coarse blend of salts that you can buy from your local hardware store for $9.99. When sprinkled on your wintry steps, this mixture absorbs water and gives off heat, transforming the ice into a viscous, briney slush and, eventually, nothing at all. Beginning with the dynamic chaos of “Up & Down,” and ending withCrumb’s closest thing to a lullaby, Ice Melt’s ten tracks combine, like ice sculptures melting intoa glistening puddle.
From the start, the group knew that cohesion was best achieved through plumbing their individual strengths— frontwoman Lila Ramani’s earliest songwriting, which catalyzed thegroup’s first two EPs; Bri Aronow’s knack for building (dis)affecting soundscapes; the hypnotic grounding of Jonathan Gilad’s drums, a Crumb mainstay; and Jesse Brotter’s distinctive bass playing, which subtly traces Ramani’s vocal melodies while providing an unrelenting pulse.These collective skills make Crumb a project of independent self-discovery, four creative minds converging around an idea that is always shifting and reforming.
Convening in Los Angeles to work with producer Jonathan Rado, Crumb tapped into atmosphere-creation like never before, building experimental compositions that are at turns head-nodding and surrealist, energetic and euphoric. Ramani characterizes the album as a“return back down to earth,” a deeply felt examination of “real substances and beings that live on this planet.” It is also the cultivation of road-worn musicians exploring brand-new sounds and thematic concepts, pushing themselves into territory they could never have anticipated five years ago.