Hello and welcome to Discovery Corner on BTR! This week we’re going to San Francisco to feature the very talented duo The Skygreen Leopards.
Photo courtesy of the band.
The group has released a swathe of recordings over the years (albeit sporadically), but despite the amount of time elapsed both songwriters have retained an unshakable air of consistency. Even the most recent outing–last year’s Family Crime–marks a “return” to form for a band that has remained steadfast in its intent to sustain a unified sound and vision.
From the first notes of the album opener “Leave the Family”, listeners familiar with the Leopards repertoire won’t help but smile at the rollicking, Dylan-esque wordplay and jangle of bouncy strummed major chords that hearken back to earlier releases like Disciples of California. But don’t be fooled by the bubblegum-sweet harmonies, there’s more to the funfair tunes than might immediately meet the ears.
It’s a contrast that renders the listening experience of The Skygreen Leopards into something deeper than other, shallower forays that neighboring Bay-Area pop groups will occasionally find themselves wading through. Part of this stems from Donaldson’s resilience to the “one-note tunes” that other artists often tout.
Primarily a man of “mood” rather than technical prowess, he explains how the construction of a dark atmosphere or facade in a song, for instance, can ultimately come across both transparent and artificial. There needs to be a certain amount of awkwardness and human frailty there.
The word is honesty, and it permeates nearly everything Donaldson approaches. He’s the first to admit just how temperamental The Skygreen Leopards really are, and why they’ve only released material in small doses.
But enough words, check out the tunes for yourself.
And don’t forget to check out the Discovery Artist feature on The Skygreen Leopards!
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