Delivering a fiery cocktail of grunge dynamics and punk rock attitude with double-shots of romance and decadence, Cruel Hearts Club’s early singles ‘Dirty Rotten Scum’ and ‘Hey Compadre’ have earned early tastemaker acclaim plus airplay from Radio 1 and Radio X. The next step in their ascendancy comes as they unleash their debut EP ‘Trash Love’ on August 20th, which will be released alongside a charismatic performance video for its lead single ‘Sink This Low’.
If you’re considering signing up to the Cruel Hearts Club, ‘Sink This Low’ is the perfect introduction. Instantly commanding your attention with its vitriolic Distillers-meets-Bikini Kill attack, ‘Sink This Low’ boasts a barbed bubblegum pop hook from sisters Edie (vocals, guitar) and Gita Langley (vocals, guitar, bass, synths), with a T-Rex stomp and a bluesy undercurrent. As with the rest of the ‘Trash Love’ EP, the track was recorded during hasty and hedonistic sessions at The Albion Rooms, Margate with producer Carl Barât.
“It’s about people fucking you over, but now the tables have turned,” says Edie. “We’ve been playing it live for ages, but it took on a new energy when we re-recorded it at The Albion Rooms.”
The rest of the ‘Trash Love’ EP keeps the intensity at fever pitch. ‘Animal’ is every bit as feral as its title suggests, but with taut disco beats from drummer Gabi Woo and sweeping cinematic strings infusing its grit with glam. There’s a more reflective tone to the power-pop stylings of ‘Dirty Rotten Scum’, a song that Edie describes as feeling “very close to our lives, with a little glitter on top.” They cap the EP with the emotionally charged, single-take performance of ‘Where Has The Summer Gone?’ – an ode to a troubled friend who is no longer with them.
The EP’s livewire energy reflects the band’s passion for raw, intense and uninhibited music that’s entirely authentic to who they are. But it’s also the product of circumstance. With seven children between the three band members, Cruel Hearts Club schedule their band activity around the needs of their families, making them work faster and more intensely than their contemporaries.
It proves that motherhood doesn’t have to be the end of ambition, especially in the context of music. “I know of women in bands that are mothers, but they’re usually the ones that were famous before having a baby,” explains Edie. “I feel proud that I’m able to talk about my kids. It doesn’t mean that you’re too old, or that you’ve missed your chance. It’s important that we’re all allowed to express ourselves musically.”
The elder of the two sisters, Gita grew up on a commune in Norfolk but the family has relocated to a more conventional life in Derbyshire by the time Edie was born – or as conventional as a ten-person family supported by an ocarina craftsman can be expected to be. They both first explored music through classical training, with Gita particularly excelling as she went on to study violin at the Royal Academy of Music.
In the years that followed, whether individually or together, the sisters collaborated with the likes of Lou Reed, Muse and The Streets. But the appeal of firing up the amps and channelling their talents into something more visceral was irresistible, leading them to form Cruel Hearts Club with Gabi Woo in 2019. They’ve already supported Sting, who is now a long-term supporter, as well as Iggy Pop and The Libertines. Their next aim is to embark upon an extended headline tour of their own.
Cruel Hearts Club will play a huge show as openers at Heritage Live at Kenwood House, London on August 20th. They take to the stage at 3.30pm on a bill headlined by James and that also features Feeder, Maximo Park, The Snuts, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. and The Sherlocks. They’re also set to support Sting next April during his six-night residency at the London Palladium.