Live Music Chiang Mai: AfterCrush’s Multicultural Sound

Discover AfterCrush, a live music Chiang Mai band with a dreamy, spacy sound laced with soaring guitar work, reflecting the city's multicultural music influences.

By | Tue 4 Apr 2023


What do you get if you put a singer / songwriter from India, a guitarist from the UK, an American bass player, and a Spanish drummer in a mortar and pestle?

You get “AfterCrush”, a live music Chiang Mai band creating original music with a dreamy, spacy sound laced with soaring guitar work, a solid rhythm section and vocals that take you on the journey of each song.

Who is AfterCrush?

Brought together by the serendipity of circumstance, Swan (India, lead vocals, guitar, song originator), Esteban Este (UK, lead guitar, backing vocals, song originator), TC (USA, bass and backing vocals) and Andreu (Spain, drums) have been playing together since July 22. Their individual musical journeys and indeed, their individual stories of how they ended up here, contribute to a polished live performance.

AfterCrush played live music in Chiang Mai at the last Citylife Garden Fair to positive feedback from the audience. And when you are playing your own stuff, to a group of people that haven’t heard it before, then that is testament to the quality of the music they create together.

However, agreeing on what the name actually means is another thing. Each has their own interpretation of what the name means.

“It’s what you get left with when you grind something” says TC.

Este’s view is somewhat different: “it’s how something has to be destroyed before you can put it back together in a better way, so after the crush.”

For Swan, it’s simpler, perhaps more romantic: “it’s a state of falling in love, once the first crush has passed.”

Andreu’s view is more pragmatic: “once your music is out there, it will become the name and mean something different to everyone that listens to us.”

Exploring the Ethereal Sound of AfterCrush

And how would they describe their music? For one thing, not to be categorised into constrained genres. After just over half a year, they are still finding their sound. Ethereal, abstract, maybe reflecting the astral plane, a sense of sonority as they combine their individual talents into a new whole. Perhaps the most interesting description was that of a sense of healing in their music, learning from the past for a better future. Producing a vibe that could only be created in the live music Chiang Mai scene and reflects the city and its multicultural influences in its music.

Swan is the lead storyteller, creating the lyrics and the concept for the songs. When played for the first time, the song takes on a life of its own as each of them contributes to the ultimate sound. Andreu and TC provide the rhythm for Este to riff and Swan to sing, the music developing organically.  And crucially, with the benefit of musical experience, not to overplay, to create space and let the song live and breathe.

Don’t Miss an Opportunity to See AfterCrush in Chiang Mai

They work hard, practicing as often as possible and at least once a week. But they are not just playing anywhere and everywhere just for the sake of it. They have played in festivals in Chang Dao and Pai, but you will not find them every Wednesday night at some bar playing music in Chiang Mai. That is not what AfterCrush is about.

Rather, it is about what the music means to them and the audiences who can hear them play, the enjoyment they get from playing and creating something original, something new. Not only that, they sound bloody good too.

AfterCrush. Make sure you get to see them soon.

You can see AfterCrush perform on Thursday night, April 6th, at the Citylife Does Planet Rock Event at Fusion Village in Chiang Mai.

Learn more about AfterCrush.