Written by Travis Shosa
After releasing a pair of well-regarded albums in the mid-2010s with Soup for My Girlfriend and Ugly Laugh, the Philadelphia indie duo of high school friends Madel Rafter and Sam Huntington all but disappeared for the better part of six years. A lot can change in that time, and a lot has. The last iteration of the project–The Original Crooks & Nannies–dealt primarily with quirky synth and drum machine dance-pop. Now simply going by Crooks & Nannies, their new singles “control”–released this past September in advance of their debut tour with Lucy Dacus–and “Sorry” adopt a more dire tone in advance of their return EP No Fun, out January 13 on Grand Jury.
Their sound isn’t the only thing that’s changed. While the Rafter-led “control” saw them attempting dark humor to corral their broad psychological struggles, Huntington’s “Sorry” specifically relates the frustration she experienced as she came to terms with her identity as a trans person. Conceptualized in 2018 and written in one sitting, “Sorry”–like Huntington’s true self–had laid dormant. “I’m sorry for all that I am / And everything I’ve ever done,” she breathily confesses over raw acoustic guitar twangs. It reads as an apology to herself: for clinging to the past, becoming dependent on the support of partners, and taking so long to accept who she is. “I’m just glad you’re here / Hold me close, larger dancer,” she sings as the chorus soars. Though she still doubts its stability and wonders if she even deserves love (“I wish I had more shit to bring to a table”), she’s slowly beginning to find a messy, complicated comfort with herself.
For more Crooks & Nannies, you can listen to their previous single, “control”:
Travis Shosa is the founder and editor-in-chief of Stamens/Pistils/Parties. Formerly the runner of COUNTERZINE, he has bylines at Pitchfork, The Alternative, and Post-Trash among others.