Beloved Leeds band Crake are releasing their debut album Humans’ Worst Habits in May, and this and this week they’ve shared another teaser in the form of “Bobbie”. The song takes inspiration from the book Island Years, Island Farm, in which author Frank Frazer Darling describes making temporary homes on remote Hebridean Islands whilst researching seabirds and seals. However, “Bobbie” doesn’t focus on him, but rather his wife, as Crake songwriter Rowan Sandle explains:
“She’s there with him the whole time, helping with his work alongside all the care work to bring up their child in these remote and inhospitable places. Yet we are given very little information about her, so ‘Bobbie’ is me wanting to know what it was like from her perspective. Some events are factual, directly taken from the book, for example her love of chickweed and the time they had to call a vet as no doctor was near. But other things are more speculative, imagined and questioned. The answers I’ll never know, and maybe she wanted it that way.”
Sandle has plenty of affection for the titular “Bobbie”, as she makes clear in the song; adoring her through scarlet fever, admiring her star-gazing, and generally showing support for her silent steadfastness. Crake support this love letter with a knotty dream-folk sound, which bounds along with more energy and heat than most of their songs, perhaps reflecting Sandle’s slight annoyance that “Bobbie” doesn’t get enough credit. Well, with “Bobbie”, Crake have done what they can to redress the history books, and it’s a marvellous little snapshot of not just one woman, but the kinds of women that have been behind great men throughout history.
Listen to “Bobbie” below or on streaming platforms.