Just got an email from the British duo of Skeleton Dead, who we first fell for back in December. Not only have they released two more sparse, gorgeous neo-trad folk tracks on their Soundcloud, there’s also album news: “We’re currently finishing off the album – should all be recorded, mixed, done and dusted within the month.”
“Lock the Doors” starts with an ominous thrust of crawling echo that would fit well with “U Smile 800% Slower,” before a car engine turns over and the tale of a murderous burglar begins over jangling guitars and slowly progressing organ. But underneath the bright, gentle instrumentation, the echoed retardation never leaves: drifting in and out, providing ballast and biting menace.
“Taken by the Tide,” is Skeleton Dead’s most sunshine-y song by a country mile. A train-like acoustic rhythm guitar is overtaken by a warm electric that would fit well in a ’50s ballad or a Cass McCombs song. “If we’re taken by the tide / I can’t say that I’ll mind.”
Solway Firth, the imagined home of The Skeleton Dead
Here’s a note to all publicists who send submissions to Noise Narcs: do exactly what The Skeleton Dead did. Get the reference our (dreadfully Photoshopped) logo makes to the classic arcade game NARCS and then blow us away with unexpectedly great tunes.
The Skeleton Dead are a duo from London, although their heart lies “somewhere along the coast of the Solway Firth deep in the industrial north west of England.” Which, given my expert knowledge of British geography, puts them in the same cheery territory as Channel Four’s The Red Riding trilogy [Ed: wrong coast, idiot.] Despite their black metal name, Knol and Claire’s sound is a heavy folk dash of Leonard Cohen and Smog, with a pinch of the stark vocal duets of Low and the icy prettiness of Broadcast. Knol handles primary vocal duties, and he has a voice that lingers, gravely and tender, with just a touch of the strut of Jarvis Cocker. A voice that I wouldn’t mind getting lost in for an album. Or four.
Their Soundcloud has two additional songs on par with these two. Ignore the below tags, file this under “bands to keep a serious eye on” and “music to listen when facing a dying fire while drinking bitter.”