On March 3, electronic band Crystal Castles were announced as part of the lineup for the 79 Cents showcase, but by the end of they day they had been dropped from the bill. The band was removed for a couple of reasons, but it was largely due to comments made by Ethan Kash after original vocalist Alice Glass left the band. While he implied that she took credit for the lyrics he wrote, she shot back that the majority of the lyrics and the vocal melodies were in fact the result of her work.
The announcement that Crystal Castles would be a part of the 79 Cents showcase came via Tumblr, the company that was holding the showcase. Glass responded negatively when she spoke with The Verge about the band’s inclusion on the lineup: “As someone who knew [Crystal Castles frontman] Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event.”
The 79 Cents showcase is so named for the reported wage gap in 2014 between male and female workers in the United States, and all of the other bands in the showcase (Jhene Aiko, Empress Of, Little Simz, Tacocat) are female fronted. After Glass left the band, she was replaced by another female vocalist named Edith Frances. Facing pressure from across the internet, Tumblr decided to remove the divisive act from the lineup of its showcase, and issues the following statement:
We’ve removed Crystal Castles from the lineup of the 79 Cents party. We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we’re not going to engage in an investigation around it. We’re hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don’t want the band’s presence to distract from this important mission.
Fairly or unfairly, adding to the contention around Crystal Castles’ inclusion in the showcase lineup is the recent Alice Glass song, “Stillbirth.” The song is about an abusive relationship, leading some bloggers to pontificate on the appropriateness of Crystal Castles playing a feminist showcase.
Crystal Castles are currently in the middle of a spring tour in support of their upcoming album, recorded with new vocalist Frances. The band has released two new songs with Frances, “Deicide” and “Frail.”