By Sky Larkin
There's no room for shades of grey in today's digital world; you're hot or you're not. Anywhere other than that is destination nowhere (Five out of ten? Forget about it). Sky Larkin shouldn't have to concern themselves with a lack of attention for too long: They're on the cusp of releasing another great single that puts them right up there with the finest bands that the Leeds Music Scene has to offer.
Following on from the incessant urge of their first release ('One Of Two'), nominal a-side 'Molten' is a slow burn coalescence of shoegaze and 80s era SST magic dust. That track is pretty sharp and expertly manipulated to inject additional impetus at certain stages but it's shaded out by 'Keepsakes'. Built on a creepy organ sound (described with pinpoint precision as fairground by Rick Garnett) and with hints of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme tune in the drum pattern, 'Keepsakes' is actually remarkably assured and completely fresh. The lyrics are dark, a sly take on the real consequences of being crazy in love ("Gonna cut you in pieces, pieces / Get it done as long as it takes / Gonna keep you in bottles and jars, and keep the bigger bits in the boot of the car / Just so I know you're safe").
Part of Sky Larkin's charm is that they sound like they might have actually heard some bands outside the confines of the Strokes/Arctic Monkeys/Libertines tri-vector. Note to scene: This isn't cheating!
One night, after listening to 'Keepsakes' on repeat, I experienced a waking dream during a hazy spell of semi-consciousness. I include it here as a footnote as it has become some sort of companion piece in my head:
After the latest in a string of arguments with his father, Jack slammed the front door and disappeared in to the night. He'd been looking for something to latch on to lately, but whatever he was trying to find had remained elusive. As he walked down the deserted country road, Jack replayed the evening over in his head, making additions and corrections in an attempt to redefine it in future recollections. He continued his well rehearsed route along the road and out of the village.
Something in the distance caught Jack's eye. He found himself drawn in to the woods at the side of the road by a mysterious combination of light and music, which he had identified as the promise of adventure. Jack worked his way through the trees and was reminded of a foreign movie where the characters ran through a forest wearing blindfolds as a test of luck. They wouldn't have lasted ten seconds in these woods he thought, it'd be more like a slapstick comedy. The further he walked, the more the throbbing anger and frustration that had pulsed through him seemed to fade away.
He was now close enough to see it was a circus tent. Making his way inside through the entrance Jack found it was deserted with only an old gramophone and some stage lighting rigged up to a stuttering generator. With that came the realisation that like the start of some whispered schoolyard spook story he'd wandered deep in to the woods, alone, and he could only attribute his situation to his own foolish delusion. He started to shake his head in dismay just as the lights went out.