Updated: Feb 18
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙋𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙨 - 𝙎𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙣𝙮 𝘿𝙞𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨
We may be nearing Christmas, but Charles wants just one more dive into summer, before fully embracing the chilly season. Australians may ignore this.
Summer seemed relatively unhindered by the virus, but by Jove it seems OH-SO long ago. The long days are a distant memory, the heat seems impossible to imagine, and the sun winks from time to time just to let us know it is still breathing. I don’t know about you, but I fancy one last gasp of summer. Enter Skinny Dippers with their single, Panties. Yes, Skinny Dippers. Yes, Panties.
The bright yellow face in the sky beams down upon us - the world’s biggest emoticon (or emoji, as I am loath to call it these days). I can feel my fingers and toes again. I can almost feel that vitamin D in my bloodstream, warming my colder soul and returning my youthful drive. An organ starts things off, with much wow and plenty of flutter. Very soon we are handed the guitars, bass, drums and vocals. I am brought back to the carefree and more positive days of The Electric Soft Parade, The Shins and Howie Beck. Wandering along the road, I am right beside the beach. The sea is glinting and dancing like a nonchalant, tipsy, elderly man. Utterly oblivious to anyone watching - not a care in the world!
Skinny Dippers is a one man band - Brooklyn’s own, Ryan Gross. Those who know my own music will realise I am a fan of taking things into one’s own hands. His vocals are soft, warm, cosy and endearing. He sings with such shine and joy. All instruments he plays perfectly in time, but manages to buff away the hard edges and any trace of aggression (this is often a problem found with perfect timing - it can be hard-edged or attacking). As well as Ryan’s music reminding me a little of the aforementioned (detest the word) bands, there is a subtly modern spark throughout, giving a similar feel to a rather more recent band called Barrie - yes, all these splendid names.
We are walking hand-in-hand, the music and I, along the coasty sand. A light and lovely feeling of being dehydrated and somewhat hazy. We reach a groyne (no groin jokes please) and clamber over. A shimmering wide chorus takes us by the face, beaming ear to ear in golden rays. Guitars jangly, shaker and tambourine having fun, and those luscious and beautiful vocal harmonies! It is a gift from the heavens. Just such bliss. Sheer joy!
We all know about pre-choruses (pre-chori…?) these days - they’re everywhere. Well, Ryan has opted for no such thing, but instead for a rather unique POST-chorus! It settles and completes the transition back into the comfy verse. Bravo, Ryan, for daring to do something I haven’t consciously come across in pop music before - and deftly handled too. Just before the verse takes us further, we have a brief and cosy instrumental section with a warm analogue synth taking the spotlight. The elderly man continues to dance, empty glass in hand.
After a second beautiful verse, we are once more claimed by the sun and its rays. This chorus repeats but with subtle chord changes - I am truly impressed with Ryan’s subtlety and nuance. It feels like he knows the rules well enough to break them. I admire that rarity in a songwriter. The form of the whole song is unusual. After what has so far been a clever and unusual structure, we finish the song with a repeating post-chorus of two parts, the second of which retains the chords but switches to a new melody.
It is a warm evening. The elderly sea snores comfortably, lapping occasionally on the shore. The sun gives us a final pink glow, as if to say goodnight.
As to the song’s name, I haven’t mentioned it. These are great and inspired lyrics, and again Ryan shows his daring with the song’s story and title. Skinny Dippers’ Ryan Gross has done a tremendous job here and truly deserves much praise and popularity. A true professional, with fun in his eyes.
Listen to 𝙋𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙨 HERE!
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