Crystal Castles singer Alice Glass is leaving the band she started a decade ago in Toronto with producer Ethan Kath, with plans to launch a solo career.
“My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others.” she wrote, in a series of tweets. “For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC … Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.”
Crystal Castles’ official Twitter account has yet to reflect the move. The duo released three albums: 2008′s Crystal Castles, 2010′s identically titled Crystal Castles and 2012′s (III). They gained blog acclaim for their earlier singles and remixes as well as their frenzied, strobe-lit live shows, and their bleak, pummeling style of electro-punk largely maintained its intensity throughout their discography, though the sophomore album brought a lushness that left behind the group’s 8-bit peers (that LP also included “Not in Love,” a Platinum Blonde cover that became a hit with a guest vocal from the Cure‘s Robert Smith).
Glass and Kath had been performing separate DJ gigs this year, so their split shouldn’t be a total surprise. Over their career, they toured with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. Remixers of their work ranged from CFCF to Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore. They also had a way of attracting controversy, especially in their earlier years. Their set during 2008′s Glastonbury festival set was infamously cut short when Glass climbed to the top of a speaker stack. Around the same time, a debate occurred over their use of artist Trevor Brown’s “Bruised Madonna” image, but the pair ultimately settled the disagreement with Brown.
Their imagery took on a more globally conscious bent by (III), particularly as seen in the cover art, an adaptation of an award-winning photo taken in Yemen by Samuel Aranda. But in interviews, the two could be cagey about their intentions. “I’ve never thought about where I wanted to go in life in general, let alone to be so aware of what complete strangers think of our art,” Glass said in a late-2012 SPIN email interview with Wondering Sound contributor Brandon Soderberg. “I’m not sure where I want to go … I just try to be sincere.”
Explore some of their best tracks below.