Crystal Robins is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who relocated to Darwin (Larrakia Country) from Sydney, Australia in 2017. Her song “Wildfire” was shortlisted in the Listen Up Music’s Songwriting Prize in 2020 and reached number 6 in the AMRAP Community Radio Charts in the weeks after its release. Robins has performed across Australia for more than a decade with such artists as Wendy Matthews, Daniel Champagne, The Pointer Sisters, Boney M and Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Now with her focus on a solo project, Robins’ original songs bring to the stage a sweet upbeat mix of chilled acoustic indie-folk and alt-country stylings with lush harmonies and instrumentation.
This summer she released her debut EP titled Wildfire. The five songs were recorded in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, by local engineer/producer Danny Christie with some interstate collaborations by drummer Andrew Congues in Melbourne, cellist Lucinda Machin in Adelaide and pedal steel player Jy-Perry Banks in Sydney. Other players include Sarah Lynar on trumpet and Aden Mackay on electric guitar. The EP was also mixed in Darwin by local engineer Danny Christie and mastered by dB Mastering in Sydney (Track 1), and Moses Mastering in Nashville (Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5). Robins is also passionate about her day job as a music therapist, and the power music has in the art of healing. She states, “music is a powerful art form with the ability to heal through songwriting and storytelling, and importantly as a way to connect with others.”
The first track is the EP’s title – “Wildfire” is a warm, inviting indie folk number. The piano and guitar Robins plays sounds so soothing and her voice complements these instruments so well. She sings, “The smoke is rising / From these flames I’m fighting / the fire’s always there” that suggest perhaps something within Robin’s life that she’s been up against. Beautiful opener! “So High” offers the listener more beauty and some added instrumentation of a shuffling snare, soft tom and bass beats by Congues and electric guitar by Mackay. Overall, this one has a bit of a faster beat and more gorgeous vocalization by Robins. “What You’re Looking For” has some country twang to it with the pedal steel being played by Jy-Perry Banks and a more forceful beat on the drums. There’s a trumpet playing here as well towards the end by Sarah Lynar, which I thought was a nice addition.
“Stranger” has an interesting arrangement with the verse parts being slower and the chorus ramping up a faster tempo. A lot of instruments are active here – pedal steel, piano, acoustic, drums – giving this tune a rich, full sound. The last track is a reprise of “Wildfire” only played live at the Darwin Entertainment Centre, in the Northern Territory of Australia. I thought this song was done well live and the pedal steel addition was nice to hear, too. But I think I liked the keys and piano more on the first track. Instruments aside, it’s the melody that captured my attention and how beautifully this song flowed.
If you like indie folk songs in a singer/songwriter style, complete with great pop melodies, a beautiful voice, great instrumental chemistry and production, check out Crystal Robins’ Wildfire.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook