Sky Larkin

Sky Larkin don’t really need an introduction, but I’ll give them one anyway, just in case you haven’t before been blessed with this eccentric, Leeds-based brand of indie rock. This four-piece formed in 2005, have supported the likes of fellow northerners The Cribs and math pop rockers, Dutch Uncles, and have once again rushed into the limelight this year after the recent release of their highly-anticipated, fuzz-filled grunge pop album, Motto.

Aggressive and boisterous, Motto screams and shouts about the struggles experienced by many emerging artists desperate to have their creative contributions taken note of. The group’s angst-ridden melodies, fused with the sometimes delicate, sometimes savage guitar grooves and slamming chords of lead guitarist, Nile Marr, create a brilliantly imperfect platform for the honest, colloquial vocals of front-woman, Katie Harkin. Not unlike the speech-like singsong vocals of fellow Brit, Kate Nash, Harkin’s choral abilities speak to listeners with a lush melodiousness and a cutting sharpness – no need to worry though, Harkin doesn’t have even a snifter of the cutesy, twee, faux-Cockney whines characteristic of Nash. She and her band are northerners through and through, and we don’t do faux anything. Nor pretension, for that matter.

Sky Larkin, as well as their brash musicality, are wholly down to earth. The group’s instrumentation, and most noticeably Nestor Matthews’ punching and kicking drumbeats, screams desperation and riotous rebellion, and punctuates each track like a heart abruptly stopping and starting again, like some kind of tuneful resuscitation at work. The strings of the bass, on the other hand, are plucked methodically throughout Motto by bassist, Sam Pryor, providing the scuzzy, lo-fi foundations of an album whose focal point is its emotional rawness. To top it all off is Marr’s crushing guitar-driven blasts and slashes, the crowning glory of Sky Larkin’s instrumental layering, practically cry out for musical mutiny.

If a little slice of autumnal grunge-rock sounds like your kind of thing, then this 13 track album, which plays out like the torment-ridden diaries of a bunch of West Yorkshire adolescents, should be just the thing for you. It isn’t ground-breaking stuff by any means, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t helping to expand the unexplored boundaries of indie rock, and moreover, that it isn’t worth listening to. On the contrary, Motto is a touching, tender and painful collection of tracks that should be heard the world over, if for no other reason than that their track, ‘Overgrown’, is one solely based on an accident which occurred ‘on the hills above Bradford!’

This entry was posted in Music by Rosie Ramsden. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rosie Ramsden

I’m originally from Grimsby. A small town whose biggest claims to fame are its ageing fishing industry and docks, and its being situated right by Cleethorpes beach, complete with fish and chip shops and a dated pier come nightclub. I moved to Leeds, wide eyed and innocent, in 2012 to start a degree in English Literature and Language. Now in my third year, I’ve embraced Leeds and university life in every way possible, working hard at my degree, spending lots of time in the institute’s impressive library, and most of all, grasping all the opportunities such an exciting city has to offer with both hands. I work part time at the Brudenell Social Club, one of the nation’s most renowned independent, non-profit live music venues, and I absolutely love it. Every night of the week I am able to feed my love for underground music and the talent of emerging artists, as well as explore the region’s creative artists and musicians, while pulling pints and simultaneously dancing along. When I’m not working, I spend a great deal of time writing for Leeds-based music publications and online magazines and webzines, updating my blog, and going to gigs at venues all over the city. Music writing, as well as my own personal creative writing, has become really important to me, as it allows me to voice my opinion about local and nationwide talent, and fuse my passion for both these forms of the creative arts.

Comments are closed.