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DLC Week of 10/12: ARXX ft. Pillow Queens and TOWNS

ARXX ft. Pillow Queens “Call Me Crazy” and TOWNS “Season 5 (Break My Fall)” are two sides of the same coin: infectious, hook-heavy, punk-influenced rock emotional, lyrical heft. Grab both of these scorchers Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store!

Alt-rock/garage duo ARXX delivered a powerfully compelling single with “Call Me Crazy” from their 2023 debut album Ride Or Die. On this infectious, uplifting track, the Brighton-based duo (Brighton, UK; not Brighton, the neighborhood of Boston) are joined by frequent tour-mates, Irish quartet Pillow Queens whose singers Sarah Corcoran and Pamela Connolly provide rich vocal harmonies that really elevate the song. Not that the composition was in particular need of “elevation” as it’s a gutsy, hooky pop anthem that deftly and bravely explores the broad topic of mental health struggles.

"'Call Me Crazy' is a happy sad ballad about mental health that will pull at your heartstrings and get you dancing all at the same time," ARXX shared in advance of the single’s release. "It feels like the perfect song to team up with Pillow Queens on, [as] they're great friends of ours and when you're struggling with mental health, friends make everything better. Their voices and instrumentation on the track adds a new dimension to the song, helping it to evolve into a really special moment of shared experiences that make it feel like a conversation with your best friend.”

Beginning with singer/guitarist Hanni Pidduck singing over a quiet, palm-muted guitar progression supported by drummer Clara Townsend’s spare, yet authoritative beat, the arrangement allows the direct, candid lyrics to take center-stage. At :51, ARXX opens up the sonic space, adding sparking, wobbly synth to uplifting effect in what serves as the first chorus. When we reach the 1:20 point, the girls return to a more syncopated version of the first verse – but now with the additional angelic voices of their friends in Pillow Queens (and presumably it’s lead guitarist Cathy McGuiness and drummer Rachel Lyons providing additional six-string and percussive flourishes, further enhancing the presentation). After the second go-round of the refrain, at 2:11, we reach an entirely new part of “Call Me Crazy” – a break defined by call-and-response vocals. By the time of the third chorus (2:37) it’s layer upon layer of soothing, gorgeous singing from each one of the capable vocalists. The soaring crescendo reaches its apex at the 3:15 point before – quite abruptly – all instrumentation and backing vox are pulled away, leaving just Pidduck repeating the heartbreaking, but simultaneously brave and cathartic lyrics that began the song. This track pulls no punches and you *will* understand the topics ARXX is boldly confronting.

All in all, “Call Me Crazy” is a prime example of upbeat punk spirit married to radio-friendly  production. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of listening to this cleverly arranged, gorgeously delivered modern-day triumph, welcome the next addition to your go-to playlist!

Chiming, slightly distorted guitar strumming kicks off “Season 5 (Break My Fall),” the 2022 single from Adelaide, Australia duo TOWNS – and it really only takes those first four seconds to realize we’re going to be taking a nostalgic, ‘90s-tinted trip down memory lane (for some; for others, this track can serve as a satisfyingly fuzzy and hook-laden introduction to this type of music).

When full instrumentation kicks in, “Season 5 (Break My Fall)” is instantly radiant and charismatic sing-along perfection. The twin, harmonized vocal powers of Aston Valladares (guitar, bass, synth, vocals) and Dan Steinert (drums, synth, vocals) are in many ways the standout feature of the recording – super catchy, inviting, and immediate – but that’s not to take away from any of the other impressive skills on display. Steinert’s stick-work is bouncy and tight, but also suggestive of a potential to go off the rails, while Valladares’ playing is confident and precise, while still somehow conveying a just-beneath-the-surface potential for mayhem. Indeed, the tension between danger and vulnerability is the crux of “Season 5 (Break My Fall).” 

Really the beauty of the song is what’s under the hood, as the twosome retrofit each component of the song – riff, verse, pre-chorus, chorus – every time they come around again. Verses don’t have the same length each time and every refrain is delivered differently, landing more strongly than the time before. It’s these tiny choices in “Season 5 (Break My Fall)” that keep things consistently interesting. Case in point, the breakdown at 2:02 is a surprising quiet/loud interlude that comes out of left field and then segues into a barely audible, acoustic-guitar driven reimagining of the chorus at the 2:22 point that subtly builds until, at 2:40, Steinert’s snare sounds out like cannon-fire and we get a full potency delivery of the refrain. This is then followed by an outro defined by the duo singing “nah nah nah” over a revision of the earlier middle-eight section (because why not?) until the track comes to a close at 3:14.

Vulnerability and sentimentality is palpable throughout – and in a very pleasing way! The duo say that the cut is, “about nostalgia; a song about understanding that you are growing up and there is a gap developing between where you are now and your youth, but also realizing there is a gap between now and what an ‘adult’ life should be like.”

The level of care and thought that was put into “Season 5 (Break My Fall)” is what gives it the very impactful narrative propulsion that defines the recording. If there’s ever been a sunny, upbeat track to play on repeat for a few hours, this is it!

ARXX ft. Pillow Queens “Call Me Crazy” and TOWNS “Season 5 (Break My Fall)” are newly available DLC featured in the Season 33 Pass! Grab both and enjoy the full season of DLC. Each of these scorchers can now be yours for $1.99 each.

  • ARXX ft. Pillow Queens – “Call Me Crazy”
  • TOWNS – “Season 5 (Break My Fall)”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 10/12: ARXX ft. Pillow Queens “Call Me Crazy” and TOWNS “Season 5 (Break My Fall)”



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, October 12th.