Skyler Skjelset is a multi-instrumentalist from Seattle. You may not recognize his name, but you definitely know him as “the other guy from Fleet Foxes. The one who isn’t Robin Pecknold”. He’s the lead guitar in that band, but what Skjelset does on his own doesn’t sound even remotely like Fleet Foxes.
Bella Union Records has commissioned Skjelset to record a split single called “Caul” backed by a song called “A Light” by Steve Strohmeier. The two musicians are actually about to embark on a Canadian tour in support of Beach House. See the “Northern Lights” tour dates (which include one date in Alaska) here.
This electronic/ “instrumental jam” is a lush, guitar-and-laptop soundscape that sounds like a less layered version of a Tim Hecker song. Yeah. I’m going through a Tim Hecker phase, so a lot of things are going to “sound like Tim Hecker” for a little while. For many years, I had been ignoring the good advice of my friends and disregarding Tim Hecker as something that “wasn’t for me”. I found out on the first night of Hopscotch last weekend that I was completely wrong about that. I was completely blown away by Hecker’s set, and it was far and away my favorite thing from the first night of the festival. In my top five of the whole festival.
This kind of thing isn’t for everybody, but it’s very much for me:
“Caul” by Skye Skjelset
I don’t even know what to say. It’s impossible to pinpoint something or even describe why I like this song so much. I guess it’s the relentless wave of sound that’s simultaneously very punishing and very serene. I just played it a bunch of times in a row and I like it more with each repeated listen.
Play this really loud with the lights as dark as they’ll go.
There is a very limited run of 200 vinyl copies of the 7″ record, and you can go to the Bella Union web shop to pre-order one here.
You should also go to Skjelset’s bandcamp page to buy his 2014 album Noh here.