Some things come as easy as pie and the new album from Ian Skelly saw the solo artist, The Coral drummer and occasional co-conspirator in Serpent Power, become diviner of twelve, new songs laid down in effortless, collaborative joy in Berlin during 2019. Skelly’s new album, Drifter’s Skyline, full of dreamers’ whimsy, sun-dappled folk and multi-instrumental curios, is set for release on Fri 31 July 2020. Skelly starts the countdown to his second, feature-length solo record with the release of Captain Caveman, a time-stopping, bubble-gum hit of comic book gobbledygook.
A prolific songwriter and artist, Skelly leapt headlong into a project he describes as an un-demoed, free-flowing and straight-to-tape stream-of-consciousness, reacting to personal grief with defiant songs of glowing optimism. With Dennis Wilson and Skip Spence denoted vaguely as influences, the generosity and good vibes brought by producer and guitarist/friend, Paul McKinnel, alongside Paul Pilot on mixing and recording duties, helped Skelly complete Drifter’s Skyline in an atmosphere of exciting, rapid-fire creativity.
Captain Caveman (lyrics: Sha Lang, Sha Lang / Oogum Boogum, Rolling Stones / Flying Burritos and Country Joe / Watch Captain Caveman save the day) affects a heart and soul-freeing ride into a place where nothing really matters. Skelly creates a Hanna-Barbera cartoon world dashed with falling Get Carter/Roy Budd-esque harpsichord, his voice happily rolling out lines of no consequence as the world drifts by. Tune out, let go, feel the breeze. It was recorded after returning from Berlin, having been inspired to find ‘the one’ that the album was missing.
Skelly says: “It came from an instrumental that Phil had figured out, so I threw some tongue-in-cheek, bubble-gum lyrics on it. It’s inspired by a mate of The Coral’s, Steve Adj, who’d be messing around in hotel rooms on tour, churning out these daft ‘dooby-dah’ songs. It’s like going back to being a kid.”
The release of Drifter’s Skyline will accompany more exclusive artwork from Skelly, who, as a restless artist, has illustrated numerous of his own and The Coral’s album projects, including promotional videos, all featuring his darkly comic, gonzo collage work as well as photography and drawing. Ian’s social media will come to life in the countdown to the final, end of July release date, offering something unexpected over consecutive days.
A founder member of The Coral, releasing eight studio albums since their self-titled debut album in 2002, Skelly released his first solo album, Cut From A Star in 2012. Together with former Zutons guitarist, now a full-time member of The Coral, Paul Molloy, Skelly has released two, critically acclaimed albums as Serpent Power, including 2017’s Electric Looneyland.
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