Crywank was started in Manchester in 2009 by Jay Clayton as a solo project despite having no previous experience playing guitar. The project started the night Clayton learnt their first two chords and wrote the songs (Welcome to Castle Irwell and Thomas Saunders Gang Chant). Lyrically focusing on the end of their first relationship and musically heavily influenced by American folk punk and anti-folk, their first album ‘James is Going To Die Soon’ became a cult favourite on the internet, both for its charm and many flaws.
After their first release Crywank began to play with and subvert the role of singer songwriter. Shifting the focus from self-pity to self-criticism and fluctuating from hard-hitting confessionals to tongue-in-cheek deconstructions resulted in Crywank’s ‘sad-but-fun’ sound. Dan Watson (ex-GNOD, Denim & Leather, Prangers) joined the band in 2012 on percussion and began to implement approaches and influences not often seen within ‘anti-folk’, at points going into d-beat and blastbeats.
Crywank have since self-released eight records and have amassed a dedicated following online. Despite being self-managed, unsigned and their name getting in the way of radio play or press coverage, Crywank have had over 100 million streams and have toured internationally. Crywank announced they would be breaking up in July 2020 following a world tour, but this was cut short after five continents due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After two years of hiatus and an impromptu solo album following a housefire, Crywank are back performing live again, both as a solo project and a full band.