23 April 2007

I never needed anybody's help in any way

When faced with an album named ‘...From My Parents Basement,’ it’s understandable if you assume you are about to hear some lo-fi, feedbacky, rough and ready garage (or basement, as it were) rock.

But the debut album from oft-times one man band Skittish is anything but. Polished (but not, you know, too polished), theatrical, melodic and gloriously eclectic, ‘...From My Parents Basement’ is an album that doesn’t demand repeat listens. It just acts like it doesn’t care if you listen again or not, because it’s not playing for you anyway, and even though you know an album like this is going to break your heart, you go back for more.

The album was sung as recorded by one Jeff Noller, all alone in, as you may have guessed, his parent’s basement. But despite this, there is none of the subdued, simple ambience that tends to cling to solo projects such as these. Indeed, there is something overwhelmingly theatrical about the album. The songs burst forth with same energy and scale as you would expect to see on a stage somewhere. I’m talking Hugh Jackman in tight pants on top of a piano belting out ‘The Boy From Oz,’ kind of energy.

And yet, in one of many paradox’s that this album revels in, the songs are also personal. They are personal in that quirky, literate way that only indy song’s recorded in basements can be. From the sweetly silly and primarily acoustic ‘Be My Dana Scully’ (“See I was thinking of going as Mulder for Halloween”), to the insane and, dare I say it, epic 'Hubris and Humility' (It’s been four whole years since I’ve seen you, I swear this is the last song I’ll write about you), there is a confessional touch to the songs that belies the big, theatre-esque nature of the their sound.

Killer stuff. Killer stuff, indeed.

Be My Dana Scully
Hubris and Humility


1 comment:

Christopher said...

Ha, I love Skittish. I love Megan.