Skeletons hail from Brooklyn and ‘People’ is their latest LP, newly released in collaboration with Crammed Discs (Europe only) and Shinkoyo on cassette and CD, with a vinyl edition coming later via Socket Records. ‘Grandma’ is lifted from said album and is probably unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. To these ears, I can hear notes of Extra Life, Dirty Projectors and, perhaps, Volcano!, but such loose comparisons are rendered superfluous by this peculiar, but utterly compelling track.
It’s a collision of mathy guitar lines almost at odds with scattered, jerky rhythms that somehow remains totally fluid. An elaborate musical geometry, where Matt Mehlan’s incessant vocals only reinforce this abstract, yet infectious track. Skeletons then veer off in another, quite unexpected, direction with an explosion of hulking guitar and rolling percussion, before things end via a gentle, meandering epilogue. Inherently strange, but all the more remarkable for it.
One of the most fascinating bands from the hugely creative Brooklyn/NYC scene of recent times, Skeletons create intense, original and revelatory music, working a globe-spanning realm of inspirations into a singular and colourful vision of guitar-based songcraft. Led by Matt Mehlan and his long-term collaborators Jason McMahon and Jonathan Leland, Skeletons have spent the last few years touring their potent live show all around, releasing a string of bold, beautifully recorded albums in the process.
“People”, their new album, co-mixed by Rusty Santos (also known for his work with Owen Pallett and Animal Collective/Panda Bear)is the first released in exciting union between Shinkoyo and Crammed Discs, with a limited vinyl edition via Sockets Records. It brilliantly boils down all the band’s thrilling sonic excursions into a collection of concise, fluid and emotive songs: rich, subtly dramatic musical atmospheres envelope Matt Mehlan’s compelling lyrical tales, inhabited by unlikely real-life characters (Jimmy Damour, Tania Head, Lil’ Rich and others) whose stories are told from a viewpoint which is both human and social/political.