New Audio: The Anthemic Bedroom Pop of Berlin’s CROOK

CROOK is an Irish-born, Berlin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Long known as a deeply private artist, CROOK can trace the origins of his music career to when he won a regional radio contest, which led to the recording and release of his Dave Keary-produced debut EP, an effort that went on to win Ireland’s Guinness Amplify program for unsigned artists. The winning prize was studio time, so Crook, who had moved to Berlin a few weeks earlier, returned to Ireland to record his Tommy McLaughlin-produced sophomore EP Calando.

Returning to Berlin, CROOK began honing his live show, playing almost 250 shows, which helped bring attention to his songwriting and production skills — and a result, he’d wind up going on to ghostwriter material for other artists. Last year, found CROOK having a renewed focus on his own material: he released four singles in a monthly series/sketchbook he dubbed CRUSHING. Recorded at Berlin’s legendary Funkhaus Studios, the self-produced series revealed a pop-leaning sensibility, as well as being a clear statement of intent.

CROOK’s latest single, the breakneck “oh, cool” is centered around an intimate, bedroom pop/bedroom rock production, an enormous and rousingly arena rock friendly hook and relatable lyrics, based on lived-in personal experience — in this instance, the song is rooted in a universal experience: the daily anxieties of existing and being a sensitive and thoughtful person in a mad world. 

“I wrote this song during a period when I was having a lot of panic attacks, and was generally feeling terrified about everything, all the time,” CROOK explains in press notes. “For me, those moments are frantic, second-to-second re-ups of terror in the brain. With ‘oh, cool,’ I tried to write a 2-minute shot of pure adrenaline, something that could burst through even my own thick head, and get me to wake the fuck up. I’m probably not the only one who needs it.”