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Smooth, sensual pop music always catches my ear, and the latest from CRNKN is exactly that — a late-night ear worm that is as captivating as it is infectious. “The Grip” is his first release with Mom+Pop Music and features the words of New York alt-pop songwriter Sara Kendall. CRNKN wrote the instrumental three years ago and considers it his “most important song.”

For Sara, this song represents something incredibly deep. “‘The Grip’ was written while I was stumbling through depression my sophomore year of college,” she writes. “I use the feeling of suffocation as an analogy to allow the listener to visualize where I was at that time in my life. The song was also partially inspired by the beautiful and compelling way Thomas Hardy describes sadness in the novel Tess of the d’Ubervilles.”

In the video pairing, we transport to a dismal motel room where Sara is sat on the edge of her bed, reminiscing on her pain. Her body language imparts anguish and concern, and her environment — a burning cigarette, white television noise, flickering lights — accents her emotions. As she progresses the energy grows, translated through the growing turmoil of the room. Oh what can one do to get out of its grip?

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