Premiere: England’s Dutch Criminal Record Return with Intimate & (Bitter)Sweet “Return to Dust”

Dutch Criminal Record © 2021
Dutch Criminal Record © 2021
Radiant and (bitter)sweet, Dutch Criminal Record’s heart-on-sleeve song “Return to Dust” is as intimate as it is cinematic – a soundtrack to isolation and connection coming at a time when we all yearn to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Stream: “Return to Dust” – Dutch Criminal Record




Blooming up out of the darkness like a happy Radiohead song (or a psychedelic early Coldplay tune), Dutch Criminal Record’s first single of 2021 is a dynamic outpouring of longing, desire, and drama. Radiant and (bitter)sweet, the heart-on-sleeve “Return to Dust” is as intimate as it is cinematic – a soundtrack to isolation and connection coming at a time when we all yearn to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Return to Dust - Dutch Criminal Record
Return to Dust – Dutch Criminal Record
Found me, taking off then landing
But nothing’s really happening
Don’t wanna cause a fuss
But where does that leave us?

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Return To Dust,” Dutch Criminal Record’s first single of 2021 (released in late July) and the latest teaser off a forthcoming EP. The Portsmouth/Chichester, England-based trio of Joe Frampton (Drums / Backing Vocals), Joe Delaney-Stone (Guitar, Keys, Piano, Backing Vocals), and Samuel Thrussell (Guitar, Vocals, Bass, Piano), Dutch Criminal Record released their sun-soaked and self-titled debut EP in mid-2014, and have been steadily dishing out their bright indie “surf pop” sound ever since.

Citing the likes of Vampire Weekend and ’60s pop bands as some of their inspirations, the UK trio have packed a handful of EPs and dozens of singles into the past eight years – and while an album is certainly somewhere on the horizon, their forthcoming (as of yet untitled) EP promises to be some of their tightest and most creative work yet!

Dutch Criminal Record © 2021
Dutch Criminal Record © 2021

Following last June’s standalone single “Feel Good,” November’s (aptly-titled) “00’s Nostalgia” and the holiday Beach Boys cover song “Little Saint Nick,” the vibrant “Return to Dust” sees Dutch Criminal Record shining with effervescent energy and aching emotion. The song revolves around a will-we, won’t-we push and pull relationship, with the narrator putting his heart on the line, out into a great and vulnerable unknown.

We hear the culmination of this heart-heavy sentiment in the band’s exhausted (yet exhilarating) chorus, as they musically call to mind such charming UK pop bands as Peace, The Maccabees, and Swim Deep:

But baby, tell me that you need me
Tell me that you want me
Or I’ll return to dust
I guess, I guess I need your love

Their words are simple and the melodies upbeat, but they carry tremendous meaning and stirring consequence.

“‘Return To Dust’ was written in April 2020 during the first lockdown,” the band’s co-vocalist Samuel Thrussell, who sings lead on this track, tells Atwood Magazine. “It was one of the songs written by Joe and I during a particularly green patch where inspiration struck despite being in isolation! I wrote the chords to Return To Dust whilst sitting on the sofa playing Star Wars Battlefront with my brother. At the time I was listening to early Coldplay (which I do all the time) and early Radiohead (which I hadn’t done in a while), this combined with events in my personal life at the time made me want to write a love song, which is something I hadn’t done for a few years so it felt like a new and exciting thing to do!”

Found me, taking off then landing
But nothing’s really happening
Don’t wanna cause a fuss
When life is hard enough

“Lyrically I was also inspired by Vampire Weekend and the way they have lots of biblical / religious imagery in their lyrics which is probably why the phrase return to dust popped into my head. Although the song is honest I also think return to dust has a touch of melo-drama to it which I quite like haha. I did a demo at home and emailed it over to Joe who added that chorus-y, chime-y guitar riff and some keyboard parts and just spruced my demo up. When he sent it back over I was taken aback at how much better it sounded.”

Dutch Criminal Record © 2021
Dutch Criminal Record © 2021

The “Return to Dust” music video accentuates the song’s rawest emotional imagery. “For the video, we got in touch with our mates Ed Swift, Harry Tomlin and Hugo Esposti who are Bournemouth University film grads,” Thrussell explains. “I had an idea that I wanted the video to be of the band playing at a prom or party but with everyone having left and being surrounded by the aftermath of it.”

“It was shot on Harry’s VHS film camera (giving it a nostalgic home movie kind of feel) at our old secondary school that we as a band all attended. Visually the film makers referenced the scene at the New Years ball from Phantom Thread. The cutaways are of our friends messing about in the fields in Chichester. Overall, we think the video is a really nice companion piece to the track!”

“Return to Dust” reminds us of where we’ve been, and also where we want to go. It’s a bright piece that shines a light in the dark; a truly bitter and sweet musical moment that balances these opposite emotions at the same time. Love and sorrow, intimacy and distance all coalesce in this beautifully catchy 2.5-minute pop song.

Watch the “Return to Dust” music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for much more from this talented trio! Dutch Criminal Record’s next EP is set to release later this year.

But baby, tell me that you need me
Tell me that you want me
Or I’ll return to dust
But baby, tell me that you see me
Tell me that you need me
Or I’ll return to dust
I guess, oh yeah I guess
I guess I need your love

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Stream: “Return to Dust” – Dutch Criminal Record



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Return to Dust - Dutch Criminal Record

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📸 © 2021

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