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After a nearly four-year hiatus, Crystal Fighters have returned with their newest album Light+. The record is one of positivity, love, and densely layered instrumentation. The group have taken advantage of time in recent years to reflect and get back to the root of themselves as musicians. Ultimately, Crystal Fighters aim to spread joy and happiness, whilst taking an introspective and meditative route. We got the chance to speak to the group to discuss the new album, as well as their lives as musicians. Light+ is out now on streaming platforms.

Hello Crystal Fighters, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Congrats on your upcoming album Light+, am I right to say that the album seems to be focused on staying hopeful and moving forward? Is this something you have been thinking about for this record?
¡Hola, hola! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us also, and glad you are enjoying the new album. We are always amazed at how lucky we are to be alive and free, and this new record is a celebration of that. In these often dark and troubled times, yes, we are trying to offer hope and a vision to move forward with.
What do you think you’re aiming to capture on Light+, is there a specific mood or message which you have been pursuing?
Really, we tried to capture the energy and essence of the band on this record, really digging deep down into the roots of the band and bringing to the surface its purest, concentrated form. We started as a band playing only live shows, no recordings, and our plan was to make people dance and have a transcendent experience at the gigs. When we made this record, the moods or messages we had in mind were joy, light, and happiness, but also introspection, meditation and healing.
How would you say your musical style has changed or developed since your 2019 record Gaia & Friends? It seems you’re maybe taking a more upbeat or positive tone on a lot of the new tracks. Love X3 for example, is a positive, anti-negativity song with happy vibes running throughout.
So much has happened in our lives and in the world since our last record, and we feel like we have learnt and experienced a lot as individuals and as a band. But also musically from all our travels, so it makes sense that our sound has developed over this time. Positivity is definitely a theme that runs throughout.
How did lockdown affect your writing process as a band? I have read that you were all separated during the pandemic, which must have changed the dynamic a bit!
The pandemic times were very healing for us as a band and personally. After so many years working and touring non-stop, it was the break we really needed to reflect. When we came back together to finish writing and recording this record we were totally refreshed and had a lot of energy and experience to pour into it. It also put into perspective what we missed about each other’s contribution to the music. We came to understand through absence from each other, all the different strengths each one brings to the band.

There really seems to be a lot of creativity which goes into your music – the sheer amount of instrumentation on some of the tracks, like We Got Hope, or Multiverse is pretty staggering. What route do you usually take with the musical arrangement of your tracks, does a melody come first and is it a collaborative process?
It happens in so many different ways, it’s hard to pin down exactly. Often the tracks evolve from a particular melodic lyrical moment or idea that you can’t get out of your head. Once we stumble across this theme or concept we try and do all we can to condense it down to its essence, and then write parts around it that support and complexify its ideas.
On a similar note, do you tend to write music specifically for the record, or do the songs come out of ideas or melodies which you have previously played with? I say this as sonically and lyrically, the LP seems to remain cohesive and has similar themes running throughout.
We are musicians, artists, and writers really out of love more than anything else, but also try and express our philosophy of peace and oneness in the most pure way. The melodies come really from the ether and we can’t really say for sure how they manifest, it is something primal that is in all human beings that we try to capture and express on the recordings.
There seems to be a powerful contrast in a lot of the new tracks. For example, Multiverse is a kind of hypnotic ethereal electronic song, whilst the following tracks like End The Suffering and Tranquilo, are more upbeat and work as fun, danceable songs. Is this contrast something you find interesting or important for the record?
Contrast has always been important to us and more so than ever on an LP. This is because a full-length album gives us the chance to express all our different tastes and styles, and indeed an opportunity for fans to find what side of our music they love beyond the singles. We have been amazed to see how varied the different songs that our friends and family say are their favourite on this record. It’s super fulfilling also being able to work on all these different styles and moods and experiment with the idea of what is or could be a Crystal Fighters song.
Is there a specific track or moment on the record that you are particularly proud of or pleased with?
We are really stoked with Multiverse. We created the seed of it initially with Nick Littlemore, who we admire very much, and then worked on it ourselves and then enlisted Ghost Culture to help us finish the production. We enjoy how we managed to keep it raw and unfiltered like we used to do in the early days.
Are you looking forward to performing the new tracks live? What can we expect from your live dates in 2024?
Yes, we are super pumped for the album tour around Europe this coming February and March. The new live show is shaping up to be awesome and we look forward to bringing a massive energy and celebration and dance party to every show that we do, as we always have. The way that the new songs are sounding weaved in with the classics and the visuals and lights is quite moving for us, it really feels like it’s going to be a special one and we hope very much to see you there.

Robert Goodall

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