Dedicated to a late friend and mentor, The debut single from the NYC band of brothers explores the feeling of powerlessness that accompanies the fear of loss


Given the fact my own brother and I can’t get past 1.5 levels of Crash Bandicoot … or more recently/relevantly, like 1.5 beers… without almost murdering each other (~in a loving way~), I’m always impressed when siblings are not just bound by blood, but by band—familial bond, complementary skills and a shared vision combining for an organic, incomparable creative chemistry and a magic that’s manifest in the music itself.

So is exactly the case with The Crooks, a literal band of brothers whose killer debut single “Ancient Man” landed in my inbox a few days ago, has been on repeat ever since and I could not be more thrilled to premiere here! 

While for most artists I’ve written about this year, remote collaboration—virtual writing and recording sessions that spanned boroughs, cities or states—was unfamiliar territory when the pandemic suddenly made in-person life impossible, it was nothing new for The Crooks. In fact, in a form of art alt-reality, it was only recently that the NYC duo (Simon and Philip,), actually had the opportunity to sit down together and work within the same walls.

“We wrote ‘Ancient Man’ on a cold morning in a blue house in the woods,” the band shared with me over email. “Philip’s recovery from addiction has made it so we haven’t been able to be in the same place for a few years now, and most of our writing has been done over phone calls. This song was written in one of the rare moments for us when we were able to be in the same room.”

Along with a labor of love, “Ancient Man” is also one of loss—a musical meditation on the feelings of anxiety and helplessness surrounding it—and along with info on their process, the brothers sent me some intel on the track itself:

“The song explores what it’s like to experience the fear of loss, and the powerlessness that accompanies trying to control this feeling. It’s dedicated to our late mentor/teacher/friend, Marty Sternstein.”

“Ancient Man” is out everywhere tomorrow. Listen, share and stay tuned to see what The Crooks have in store—

Personally, I cannot wait for more.


Follow The Crooks at @thecrooksband, add “Ancient Man” to your Spotify playlists and stream it via every platform you like here.

Feature image (“Case Study House #22,” provided by the band): Julius Shulman

Single art (photo: “Strait”): Daido Moriyama

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