Feb 25 2009

From the Vaults: XTC – Skylarking (1986)

Published by at 10:42 pm under Alternative,Indie pop,MP3's

I only discovered XTC after I finally got sick of hearing Pretty & Nice consistently compared to them and not knowing who they were. So Pretty & Nice, I owe you for introducing me to Skylarking. This album has captured my mind for the last few weeks. I’ve left places early to go home and listen to it. If I have to walk somewhere, anywhere, if even for a minute, I’ll listen to Skylarking. Even 30 seconds of the first song. The hooks are irresistible. I’m slightly more insane for having heard this album. So cheers to my eroding sanity, and all hail Skylarking.

Skylarking has no grounding. The hooks float. They dive when they should pop, and explode when they’re bound to disappear. It’s entirely unpredictable pop music, a bit unsettling but ultimately enveloping. And that’s it, that’s the draw, the part that speaks to some evolutionary swirl beneath each passing listen. Of course the music stays the same, but the mind twists the interpretations and the associations. It’s nearly symbiotic in it’s infectiousness. The bass lines skirt the vocal melody in “Summer’s Cauldron” while jangly keyboards and piano build a dream-like foundation. There’s also a flute line that might have inspired the creation of the Forest Temple in Ocarina of Time. The bass/guitar interaction in “Meeting Place” is all Built to Spill, and the vocals punch from the ether, floating to and from existence before dissolving into lush, sweeping harmonies. Oh, and this lyric: “Machines that make you kiss in time.” There’s something oddly compelling about kissing in time. Romantic, even.

Also, this was released three days before I was born. Coincidence?

From Skylarking:

XTC – Summer’s Cauldron

XTC – The Meeting Place

XTC – Ballet for a Rainy Day

And this video is just strange.

YouTube Preview Image

MySpace | Amazon

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply