RE-REVIEW // Crystal Castles – Not In Love ft. Robert Smith

Crystal Castles

Oops. When you love a song for so long, only to look it up years later and realise that it’s actually a cover of an older song that you were completely oblivious to.

I feel like a silly millennial.

So for all my fellow noobs, ‘Not In Love’ is a song by Canadian band Platinum Blonde, released in 1984. Crystal Castles covered it in November 2010, and wisely chose to feature Robert Smith of The Cure. If you take a step back, this is quite a bizarre collaboration, but fuck it works.

In celebration of The Cure coming to Australia for Splendour in the Grass, let’s dig into this beautiful gem of a song.

“And we were lovers / now we can’t be friends.” According to a rogue Genius annotation: “This is basically the recurring plot line of all ten seasons of Friends.” I’d take that a step further and say it’s basically the recurring plot line of life, for everyone. Which may be why, years on, it’s still so evocative with every listen.

It’s the heartbreak of the verses and the sudden warmth of the chorus, “Cause it’s cold outside / when you coming home? Cause it’s hot inside / isn’t that enough?” It’s the back and forth, lyrics pouring straight from the mind, the forceful repetition of him convincing himself that he’s “not in love”.

Largely thanks to Smith but also to their use of uplifting synths, it’s a much more melodic Crystal Castles. Compare this to something like ‘Alice Practice’. Crystal Castles overhauls the original rock piece into a fantastic wall of electronic sound, especially heightened in the dreamy breakdown where Smith’s normally rich vocals are transformed into a robotic echo. This is a genuine shivers-down-the-spine track. From 1984, to 2010, to now.


Hometown: Toronto, Canada.
Upcoming album: Out later in 2016. 
Sounds like:
Simian Mobile Disco, LCD Soundsystem, Metronomy.
Say what? Even though they created some standout music, Alice Glass has revealed that her time at Crystal Castles was miserable.

Exclusively hand-picked just for you, by Jane.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *