Week 49 | Tobi’s New Independent Music Picks

A totally random, whatever came to mind first, selection of the latest additions to our New Independent Music Friday playlist

Music review written by Tobi Davis

Tobi's new music monster

Skye Wallace Album Artist: Skye Wallace
Track: “Death of Me” (Skye Wallace LP)
Purveyor of awesome independent noise Skye Wallace delivers a wondrously unrefined album of sublime musical depth, raw unapologetic emotion, and inspired originality.

Painted in a gloriously noisy palette of incredible guitar grunt and tender-ugly overdrive, Skye Wallace’s self-titled ten-track release arrives in swells of storming six-string and pulsating, animalistic drum beat; Wallace’s voice triumphant and defiant as it soars in great rises of infectious sing-along melody. The opening track, “Death of Me” giving way to the stomp and strut of ‘There is a Wall’; drum, guitar, and bass smackdown as one, in a series of tight-heavy stabs. ‘Coal in Your Window’ stutters and twitches at an agitated speed in punk-rock time. Wallace shrieking and taunting in percussive shouts and lyrical salvos.

Embraced by the haunting rise and fall of string instrument, ‘Stand Back’ shifts in ambient and odd, wistful nostalgia; the track building in sudden surges of instrumentation and emotion. ‘Iced In’ slithers and slides in dissident orchestration panned wide left/right, contrasted by crisp rhythmic pattern and set. The pace turning up further with the smack and jump about of, ‘Always Sleep with a Knife’; Wallace successfully pairing sardonic lyric with catching indie-pop vocal hook. ‘Body Lights the Way’ grooves with dorky-funky riff, uber-cool bass, and cowbell.

As string and vocal harmony shimmer uneasily in the wide ambiant, hi-hat fizz, and guitar ‘n’ bass crank the tempo out. Morricone-inspired drum and twisted guitar solo add epic flavor on the lo-fi to, ‘Swing Batter’. The heartbreakingly beautiful, ‘Midnight’ breathes in wondrously understated guitar ‘junt’ and grind; electric-strings edging in and out of crunch with finesse and deft touch. Wallace’s vocal mournful and somber; rising up from the darkness, only to fall back to the shadows again.

Out of the noise floor and the distant din, the final track, ‘Suffering for You’ drags and grinds into the phantom center. Wallace’s voice at its most haunting, damaged, and engaging. The track grows in great depths of growling distortion and thunderous drums; delay and chorus echo left to right in disquietened dislocation. The track and album finally dying back into the infinite.

An astonishing achievement in songwriting, performance, and production, Skye Wallace’s self-titled album is, without doubt, the stand out independent release of the year so far. Noisy and glorious in its instrumentation and framed by tastefully judged and expertly executed, and knowingly understated, mix and master; the ten-track collection an undeniable testament to the great depth of quality, artistic integrity, and creative possibility of Independent music. Bold, uncompromising and quite simply awesome.

Twitter: @skyewallace
IG: skyewallacemusic

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