Deb Never Gives a Voice to the Outsider on "Crutches"
Photo: Nate Guenther
You never know what to expect with Deb Never, but you can always count on a good time. While her songs are hyper-relatable, the artist has an aura of mystery about her, not wanting to be restricted by any genre or singular time period. But her genre-bending and time-shifting identity has not stopped her from collaborating with some of our generation's greatest talents, including slowthai, BROCKHAMPTON (RIP), and Kenny Beats.
Described by The FADER as "effortless[ly] cool," we couldn't agree more. Never is the type of person to get stuck in the UK during a pandemic and come out with a well-loved EP. She creates a Bandcamp project just to support frontline healthcare workers. And she shows up in luxury fashion brand campaigns.
But even the dopest people you know have their moments, and that's what her latest single "Crutches" is all about. She starts off the song singing, "Don't get ahead of yourself. / You're running too fast before you learn how to walk, and now you're on crutches." Accompanied by simple strings and percussion, Never expresses feelings of impostor syndrome as she yearns for "better days."
The song itself radiates a nostalgic punk feel, but it also leaves space for Never's raw yet pop-minded vocals. It brings forth fleeting feelings of coming-of-age - the type of song you'd listen to on your iPod nano while you gaze out the car window as your parents drag you on a family road trip.
Given the context of Never and who she is, "Crutches" is deceptively sweet. In a realm of parasocial relationships and fan entitlement, the song reminds us that enigmatic forces like Never are still human too. You can catch her in person on slowthai's UK tour in March or with Omar Apollo for his US tour in April through May.
Listen to "Crutches" below: