I have to be completely honest, when I saw the name Skullcrusher I was almost put off listening. The name instantly conjured up some sort of thrash / death metal band. If that is your thing that is absolutely fine however, that is always a genre of music I have shied away from. Thankfully I soon came out of my hiding place at the thought of being subjected to some very loud music and started listening to Skullcrusher and my life was instantly better for doing so.
Skullcrusher are Helen Ballentine and Noah Weinman, signed to Secretly Canadian and have released their debut four track EP. The tracks on this EP were written in a room during a period of unemployment which may explain the feelings of loneliness and vulnerability that reverberate throughout the EP. This is an EP that you can really get lost in and quite simply enjoy the moments you are having.
The EP opens with ‘Places / Plans’, the acoustic guitar strumming is so delicate yet powerful enough to make the world fall silent. A very gentle electric guitar and shimmering keys enter the song at exactly the right moments and in doing so send shivers down our spines. All of that without even mentioning the haunting, atmospheric vocals that will be sure to brighten up your life. ‘Trace’ is underpinned by a soothing yet infectious melody that allows this song to enter your conscience. Before you know it you will be focusing intently on the powerful lyrics filling the space around you “when you come over / you don’t ask me how my day went / you leave when you wanna / but I won’t forget”. ‘Two Weeks in December’ is one of the shortest songs you are likely to hear this year, clocking in at just under one minute long, but what it does within this short time frame really is a beautiful thing.
‘Day of Show’ closes the EP with soothing melodies, subtle vocals that once again ensure your attention does not wander for even a second. Gill Young adds the drums to this track with a beat that knits everything together very tightly. Throughout this song Hannah reflects upon how it is often easier to give advice than to apply that advice to our own lives “It all works out / that’s what I say out loud / when I’m the one giving advice / but as you tell me now / I forget just how to find these words to mean much anymore”
SkullCrusher is available digitally now through bandcamp, you can also pre-order the physical release for October. https://imskullcrusher.bandcamp.com/album/skullcrusher