Singled Out: The Crystal Casino Band's City That Sleeps

Keavin Wiggins | Published 01-27-2023

Singled Out: The Crystal Casino Band's City That Sleeps Photo courtesy Press Here

Indie rockers The Crystal Casino Band released their new album, "Maryland House," this week and to celebrate we asked guitarist Jarrod Hendricks to tell us about the single "City That Sleeps". Here is the story:

I've had the chorus for "City That Sleeps" written down since either late 2019 or early 2020. I noticed that a lot of areas in DC, especially downtown, were desolate after 5pm and on weekends after the office workers went home. In those areas, and in DC in general, a lot of businesses would be closed or have abbreviated hours compared to big cities around the country. That's what inspired me to think of DC as "the city that sleeps" as opposed to New York City's being "the city that never sleeps."

After I wrote the chorus, I reached a major impasse with how to expand on my initial ideas and couldn't create anything else that I felt would fit well with what I already had. When we started working on Maryland House, I looked towards our older song "Potomac" for inspiration in terms of lyrics and general sound. When I pitched the song to the band, they thought what I had was good enough to start fleshing out further and, to my surprise, have me sing it. At first I was intimidated by the challenge, as this would be the first song I have ever sung for the band, but with the backing of my bandmates and some vocal coaching from our Pete, I was able to ace the recording with what I would call a "very interesting vocal performance."

The overall idea of the song stems from the transient nature of young people in Washington, DC. People come here for college or work, then move onto cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago to fully settle down, showing that despite what you have with the relationships you have in your life now, "nothing ever lasts in the city that sleeps." The second verse deals with a friend of mine's brief friendship with someone we studied with in college. After their friendship eroded, my friend realized that the pain they felt for the loss of this connection was deeper than just a platonic friendship. I asked my friend permission to write some lyrics about this and with their permission it culminated in the verse that became the plot of our music video for the song.

With this song, I wanted to show my own unique songwriting while paying homage to where the band has sonically been in the past and the city that we call home, as well as capture feelings of yearning and longing for what once was.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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