Punk and rock n' roll reviews from Lord Rutledge and friends
Thursday, June 03, 2021
Hayley and the Crushers - "Cul-De-Sac"
For my first post of unofficial summer 2021, I present the brand-new single from one of my favorite bands, Hayley and the Crushers! The band was recently signed to Kitten Robot Records, a label founded by pop icon Josie Cotton back in 2018. Now that's truly a match made in heaven! "Cul-De-Sac" is the Crushers' first release on Kitten Robot, and of course it's amazing. It was recorded and mixed by legendary punk producer Paul Roessler at Kitten Robot Studios in Los Angeles. "Cul-De-Sac" is not your typical "summer song", but it's an extraordinary pop song and a new high point in the annals of the Crusherverse. Inspired by Ira Levin's novel The Stepford Wives with an added touch of COVID PTSD, this is a song about feeling trapped in a supposedly sunny place. Hayley's lyrics powerfully evoke the silent suffering of mid-century housewives doomed to lives of forced domesticity ("And when he asks you why you're so cold, you're somewhere else/you tell him cul-de-sac is French for Dead End"). It was mere coincidence that the song was recorded during a worldwide pandemic -- when Hayley and Dr. Cain were essentially trapped in a sunny cul-de-sac of their own. So while "Cul-De-Sac" is not a COVID song per se, its themes are extremely relatable at this moment. It's a little bit of a different kind of song for Hayley and the Crushers. It's moody and haunting, with Roessler's production magnificently playing up the range of emotions layered in the song. And Hayley's lead vocal? Just wow! "Cul-De-Sac", like last summer's remarkable single "Jacaranda", proves that great pop need not lack substance. For the full backstory on "Cul-De-Sac", check out this post from Hayley's personal blog. Click here to find the single on your favorite streaming platform!