Skittish – The Perfect Shade of Green
Album: The Perfect Shade of Green
Label: None Currently
Genre: Alternative/ Folk Rock/ Indy
Sounds Like: A little bit of everyone
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Best Songs: Love Songs and Lullabies; Rearview Mirror; Keep Driving
Strengths: Overall musicianship. Production value is high. Songwriting is top notch.
Weaknesses: Occasionally having a hard time understanding the lyrics mainly.
REVIEW BY KATE SPARROW
Skittish is a self professed “folk rock band with thorns.” A band with definite potential straight out of St. Paul, they seem poised to bring a new brand of folk to the world. With their two core members Jeff Noller and Vonnie Kyle leading the project, they seem to have good repertoire on this double album. Conceived in 2008, the album was finally realized in the fall of 2010 as their third official release. You can easily find their myspace, or a very developed site at http://www.iamskittish.com.
I was first struck by the track ‘Love Songs and Lullabies’ because of it’s danceable Celtic feel. The production and mix on this track are great, but with lyrics about bricking someone in the basement caught me off guard. Entrapment isn’t usually a theme you imagine with a title like ‘love songs and lullabies,’ but it must be working for them because I’m considering heading to their basement anyway.
‘White Noise’ I found myself bobbing along to easily. Definitely a rock track, I personally hear similarities between Jeff Noller’s voice, and Deathcab for Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard’s. However I would compare the actual structure of the songs to something similar to the White Stripes. The guitar solo was crunchy and definitely added depth to the song. ‘Through the Woods’ gave off a very Grace Potter vibe. What really impressed me with this song were the lyrics. Very introspective and story telling, there’s a good deal of show not tell here. All and all a great song. “Jagged Stars’ is your Simon and Garfunkle sound, with beautiful melodies, a delicate guitar line, and another set of beautiful lyrics that remind me of childhood memories, both good and sad. The mix again on this song is very professional.
The instrumentation in ‘Rearview Mirror’ really moved me. The piano line, and drums really stick out to me on this one. They use the choir effectively and again, Vonnie’s voice really shines. One of my favs on cd one. And now I bring you to cd two. ‘Keep Driving’ really shows off Jeff’s voice. The build in the song is perfection, as are the harmonies. The driving rhythm I adore, as well as the overall instrumentation. This song is a very strong track in all aspects. ‘Pink Noise’ is another good one to me because I can again hear Irish tones in this song. They sound familiar and good to my Celtic ears. Right down to the washboard. Bring it on baby. ‘Hug A Tree’ gives a positive sound, but the lyrics are heartbreaking and the dynamics between the two play off each other well. It has an indy feel, like something that would fit into a film easily. I love the lines:
“Clocks are paralyzed,
since you no longer love me.
And the sun don’t want to rise,
since you no longer love me.
Birds say they don’t want to sing,
radio don’t say a thing”
It’s hard to recommend many changes or give critique to this album, as it is a very strong effort. With so many different sounds on this album, one could say they are still finding their sound. I argue that they are so good at so many genres that it is their duty to try everything they can pull off. This theory means there’s something for everyone.
Overall I was surprised at how the album was produced so well. I was impressed with the many instruments they used, and the way they communicated their messages. I loved everything from the ballads to the edgier songs. Even having two singers really works for Skittish. I sincerely hope they put out another album soon, because I am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival