Electropop-fuelled wall of sound
A distance collaboration between London-based Julie Rumsey and Berkeley, CA’s Sacha Galvagna. Named, improbably, after the Queen’s property portfolio, Crown Estate make dreamy electronica from layered loops that are traded between the duo.
Why Crown Estate?
They take their cues from Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound approach to production, building tracks into dense sonic events that are full, but never cluttered. Their music takes in crisp electropop and, on new track ‘Skin’, churning guitars, drones and an almost dystopian folk-blues arrangement, complete with a spooky stop-motion video reminiscent of the scary imported kids TV shows from Europe that most of us are still having nightmares about. Rumsey’s vocals are as flexible as the musical accompaniments she creates with Galvagna, taking in breathy, wry Blondie-isms and a light, 60s chanteuse style. The result is a series of singles released over the past few years which are every bit as diverse as the Queen’s real estate investments.
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The pair worked together in Rosa Mota, a sprawling 90s indie group signed to Mute’s 13th Hour imprint. They split up in the wake of their underrated Steve Albini-produced ‘Bionic’, their second album for the label, while their earliest songs were mixed with the help of another Mute alumnus, Si Begg. The Crown Estate project was put on hiatus back in 2014, but the pair are hard at work completing their first album, provisionally titled ‘Scape’. Rumsey is also writing and performing under the alias HER, while Galvagna has two Stateside projects, Carta and No One’s On Fire.
‘Skin’ is out on Driver Sounds