crystal castles are donating all proceeds of their new album to amnesty international

'The world is at a critical tipping point. Human rights have no borders, no language, no religion, and no race,' new singer Edith Frances wrote on Facebook yesterday.

by Hannah Ongley
|
Aug 19 2016, 4:36pm

It's been nearly two years since Crystal Castles founding members Alice Glass and Ethan Kath underwent a very public breakup in October 2014. Since then, it hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for Kath and new singer Edith Frances — in fact the dust has barely settled on the social media shitstorm that erupted when the duo were booked to play Tumblr's feminist SXSW party earlier this year. For the uninitiated: Following Glass's exit from the electro-punk act due to "a multitude of reasons both professional and personal," Kath claimed that Glass was exaggerating her creative role in the band and "didn't appear on Crystal Castles' best known songs." Glass fervidly disputed this on Twitter, before releasing her first solo single "Stillbirth," in which she opened up about a past abusive relationship. Crystal Castles were then dropped from the SXSW party lineup after Glass told organizers, "As someone who knew 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." 

Since the SXSW drama the band's new incarnation has been hard at work on its first post-Glass album, Amnesty (I). The studio release is out today, with a surprise twist: all the duo's own proceeds will be donated to Amnesty International. "We want our voices to call attention to issues that need to be illuminated," the typically media-shy Frances wrote on Crystal Castles' Facebook last night. "Amnesty International stand up for human rights by fighting injustice hands-on, and gives a voice to those who may feel voiceless. They fight for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, prisoner rights, and children's rights. They fight against discrimination, arbitrary detention and unfair trials, and civilian injustice. They are the people on the ground working to change these issues and they need our help. Not just our words, but also our resources." She then challenged other musicians to do the same, adding, "The world is at a critical tipping point. Human rights have no borders, no language, no religion and no race." 

Following the release of her solo single "Stillbirth" last year, Glass donated all her own profits to "organizations like the nonprofit RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) that help survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and incest." Still, pledging all proceeds from an album that's been two years coming is a bold move. In her first-ever interview yesterday, Frances spoke to Rolling Stone about the band's troubled history and new incarnation. "Alice was an awesome frontwoman, but it is crazy how receptive people have been. It's been overwhelmingly positive," she said, adding, "my favorite Black Flag singer was Henry Rollins, and he wasn't the first lead singer they had. It goes to show you, it's an evolution. Things change. Growth is always positive." Listen to the latest single off Amnesty (I) below. 

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