US - California - Full Moon 219 - 07/12/14
The Skygreen Leopards
Some psychedelic freak-folk pop-song for the summer, huh? The Skygreen Leopards put out a taster from their forthcoming album, Family Crimes, due out on July 8. While we wait they
tour with label-mates Woods.
Pastoral folk-pop duo the Skygreen Leopards formed in 2001 in California. The twosome, bandmates Glenn Donaldson (of Thuja, Blithe Sons, and several others), who's also the co-founder of
the Bay area experimental folk label/collective Jewelled Antler (established 1999 by Donaldson and his drone-folk-noise/'nature psych'/'outdoor folk' Thuja cohort Loren Chasse) and Donovan
Quinn (from Verdure). They released their first collection of weird improv folk songs, I Dreamt She Rode on a Pink Gazelle & Other Dreams (Jewelled Antler) the same year, some of which
were recorded outdoors: 'true field recorings', the spirit of being free. They're sort of the last of the hippie, or nature's people, as they are playing "instruments" made by pine cones,
creeks, branches and crude harps built from fallen trees... Very well, the twosome has put out a number of albums (full and minis), CDrs, etc, including fine records such as Life & Love
in Sparrow's Meadow (Jagjaguwar 2005), Disciples of California (Jagjaguwar 2006) and Gorgeous Johnny (Jagjaguwar 2009). Family Crimes will be their 7th (8th?) full
album, and by checking out this taster, "My Friends" I guess the album could be something to look forward to.
Like their friends Woods, the Leopards are playful and they come up with catchy, straightforward pop phrases. The gents Dnaldson and Quinn are much more skygreen (hence the name...), and
wilder of mind, and they're not as "clean-shaven" that the Woods are. The music of the Skygreen Leopards are much more crooked, twisted and bent. Both melodically as well as vocally and
instrumentally. Donovan Quinn collaborated with Ben Chasny (from Six Organs of Admittance and Comets on Fire) on the New Bums project earlier this year,
and showed also some of the rough edges that you'll find within the music from the Skygreen Leopards. They're on a different level. And they're perfectly fine with that.
Wild creatures they are. For sure. "My Friends" is a low-tech and lo-fi song and single, yes, indeed. But, it's friendly, and it's poppy!
Copyright © 2014 Håvard Oppøyen