19th July | Exchange

The city of Manchester has long been synonymous with both music and the artistic counterculture. Something about its imposing red-brick structures and deeply ingrained history of industrial grime appears to breed the perfect biome for musings on the stability of now, whenever now happens to be. From the working-class poetic wonderings of the late Mark E Smith to the hedonism of The Happy Mondays, from the bleak dystopian structures of Joy Division to the sarcastic wit of The Smiths, Manchester seems to magnetise ideas and amplify them like no other city on Earth.

This post-millennium incarnation of the city still grasps the very same torch, which burns bright amongst the soot of the past. We’ve had the grandiose, reverberant heartache of MONEY and even imported and subsequently indoctrinated the Canadian-born BC Camplight, but as far as the snarling sarcasm of the Mancunian wit is concerned, there is one artist who encapsulates the city’s underdog charm with distinction.

James Clayton formed the aptly-named Crywank back in 2009, initially intended as a visceral and personal solo endeavour. In the years since, this project has taken on a much larger form. With early work arriving in a strictly DIY fashion, Clayton garnered a close and committed fanbase that has grown exponentially with the band’s commercial success. With four full-length LPs now under his belt and a reputation that surely precedes him, it’s clear that the humble beginnings of Crywank lay strictly in the past, whilst the future looks more exciting with each day.

See the video for ‘Doubt’ here: