Edith Crash is a traveling Frenchwoman with a case of the blues. The singer-songwriter's love affair with traditional black music actually started in the south…of France. No, it's not quite the bayou, but her passion for the music took hold of her at a young age.
“If I have to pick only one blues influence it would be Blind Willie Johnson, I love raw dirty old blues,” Crash tells the Weekly.
Last year, she left France for Los Angeles where she's been exploring the city and its myriad music scenes. “Every crazy thing you can find, you can find it here,” she says of LA's musical melting pot. “It's quite different from Europe.”
Before leaving France, the musician spent time in Spain during her teenage years. Spanish press has heralded her as “the daughter Edith Piaf could never have with Kurt Cobian.” Crash's raspy vocal prowess actually does fall somewhere between the legendary French singer and the patron saint of Seattle grunge.
When she decided to cross the Atlantic ocean in March of last year, many peers urged her to cross the language barrier as well and sing in English when she arrived to the States. “I didn't know what to expect singing in French,” Crash says not wanting to comprise the sentiment of the songs she writes. “I've gotten good feedback from people and I truly believe that music is the universal language.”
She recently won over new fans singing atop the bar at Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights strumming her guitar while keeping a simple beat with timely bass drum hits.
Six months before she decided to make the move, the musician collaborated with Alex Augé, her old teacher, saxophonist and poet. The end result is Inonde, a seven-track effort off Vagueness Records where she interprets Augé's words. “This one is more jazzy because Alex is a jazz man,” she adds of his musical influence that melds with her folkloric sensibilities.
The musician speaks English much better than the Weekly speaks French, so she helps us understand what the content of the songs are. “My lyrics are about personal emotions and how you feel going against the system,” she says. “Colonne” is very much along those lines. “It's about sometimes when in your work or the system you feel trapped. It's like a scream!”
And then there's the title track of the album. “The lyrics are quite poetic. It talks about an emotional flood,” Crash says. The cover art of Inonde meshes with the theme very well as it's a painting by Argentinian artist Alicia Marano called “La Inundación” or “The Flood.”
Everything is set for Crash to take her music to new places and audiences. She has shows lined up this week in OC thanks to a relationship established with Santa Ana's SolArt Radio, one of which will take her on to the Doll Hut–a venue that could surely use a shot of the blues every now and then. And when someone's come as far as Crash to deliver it, we can bet she's gonna make you feel every note.
Edith Crash performs with the Bellhaunts at Proof Bar. Wed., Feb. 5 at Proof Bar, 215 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, 9 p.m. Free. 21+ and Thurs., at The Doll Hut, 107 S. Adams St., Anaheim. 7 p.m. 21+. Free.
Gabriel San Román is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and the tallest Mexican in OC. He also once stood falsely accused of writing articles on Turkish politics in exchange for free food from DönerG’s!