Skinny Dipper – Masks [Olive Grove]

Newly signed to Glasgow independent label Olive Grove Records, Skinny Dipper comprises of members from a catalogue of bands (Randolph’s Leap, Aerials Up, Quickbeam and Trapped In Kansas).

Collaborating on folk-tinged pop that uplifts through a gentle, ambling inter-change between the nine musicians, recent release Masks is a refined collection of Scot-folk songs.

The sweet quality of ‘Hospital Bed’s harmonies layer more like a classic Highland ballad/dance with a to and fro-ing quality, glorious falsetto vocal and strings harmonize with the building of drums to a calm climax.

For a band with nine members, the songs naturally take on a collaborative structure, on ‘The Kids Are Alright’ the soft lulling pace balanced between violin, tentative guitar and clear vocal bind the emotive purpose of each song so they blur the lines between instrument and vocal, all a vehicle for storytelling and expression.

Available on 12-inch vinyl and download, the release comes at the perfect moment for when the weather dips and hot toddies are the brew of choice.

There’s a cleansing quality to the purity of the melodies that transverse the EP, complimented by the kicking percussion, instrumental moments created on songs like ‘Cellphone’ call to mind bands like Yo La Tengo that do the whole sprawling, atmospheric juncture in the middle of a release so well.

Rather than jar with the rest of the EP, it offers a reprise from the constructed and shows the band aren’t constrained by their evident musical expertise.

Blending the purer elements of folk, indie and pop as a vehicle of their expression Skinny Dipper are not only musicians, but storytellers who have crafted a flawless EP.

Words: Heather O’Donnell

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