Croche -  Songs of the Red Dragon
Croche -  Songs of the Red Dragon

Croche - Songs of the Red Dragon

Regular price £22.00 Sale

Label:    Fondation Petya Sasser Rike – LP-PSR 4
Format:     Vinyl, LP
Country:    France
Released:    10 Jun 2024
Genre:    Electronic, Rock, Pop
Style:    Dream Pop

Is there still such a thing as bedroom pop? The last technology leap in music production may have been invisible to most: no sound revolution seems to have occurred in the past 15 years but one, the extreme narrowing of the gap between fully equipped studios and a laptop. 

These Songs of the Red Dragon were not recorded in a state-of-the-art studio. Instead, they were written, composed and sung in the most various locations: concrete garages bundled up in brutalist suburbs, 17th Century abandoned Norman farmhouses, Ivry, Marseille, Montreal… an epitome of laptop production, in short. But why still bother with prefixes? Songs of the Red Dragon is pop music and the kind that is all about fear and conjuring fear, bruises and healing, assuming oneself and assuming the straightforward nature of pop songwriting. 

In that sense, a cautionary tale underlies the opening track, Lying Down: a church’s bell is ringing in the distance, the countryside is filled with birdsongs, someone is walking and abruptly stops before the eruption of what sounds like some sort of unidentified flying object ; but this is all a red herring: voluptuous chords soon replace the ominous synth sound and Croche’s warm voice starts humming: “I will sing a song to you, my love, hoping that it can heal some of your bruises” before properly bursting into a sensuous love song, sitting somewhere between Sade and Kelela.

Red Dragon, as its name suggests, is another tale, a synth-laden song of muted epicness. Ominous and foggy, it nonetheless builds up towards the telluric, beat-driven I Am A Stone, that offers to tie the borders of geological time together.

Though as dusky as the A-side, thematically speaking, the B-side is sonically lighter. In Aliens Calling, guitars replace synths in a soundscape that now evokes Cherry Red, Lush and The Sundays. It is followed by an a cappella, Falling Walls and then Ange, a heavy-hearted ballad sung in French.

The closing track, Where Is My Mind turns out to be the most optimistic, light-hearted song on the record, and yet. Featuring Gyeongsu on the guitar, it hints at their recent collaboration, YZOBEL, rounding out the LP with a distinctive sweet and sour touch, the sound of late Summer afternoons and hazy teenage days. And that’s perhaps what bedroom, laptop or call it what you want home-produced pop is all about: capturing something of the urgence, the absolute necessity of writing a song one could associate with teenage years, even when the music’s as lush and glamourous as Croche’s music is. That’s what singing about love with open wounds should sound like and that’s what Croche does.


A1        Lying Down 4:51
A2        Red Dragon    4:18
A3        I Am A Stone    5:00
B1        Aliens Calling    3:27
B2        Falling Walls    2:10
B3        Ange / I Am A Stone (Reprise)    6:05
B4        Where Is My Mind 2:53