Thursday, 28 July 2016

New Music: Skott - Wolf

Do you remember a few years ago, pre-Spotify discovery playlists, when blogs were THE place to go for discovering new music? At the time, it seemed like every week there was a new artist blowing up, generating ‘blog-buzz’ and gaining thousands of plays through the Hype Machine charts before the artist crossed over to radio and (sometimes) mainstream success?

These days things are a little different. Blogs are no longer the force they were in terms of discovery, although there’s no doubt they still have a role to play, particularly for exposure of the underground or d-i-y artist who may struggle with the required resource or know how to position their music on key playlists. They can also be useful for providing greater context and information – something Spotify doesn’t do (yet). It’s all very well listening to something on a playlist, but if you want to know more about the act a quick Google search and hitting up some blogs might give you what you need. Also, for some people, music blogs aren’t about discovery at all these days – it’s about enjoying the inner workings of someone else’s mind, getting access to some other music geek's thoughts. Maybe sometimes reading the blog becomes more fun than listening to the music?

But back to ‘blog buzz’. So it doesn’t happen as much as it used to, fair enough. But there is still the odd moment when it feels that blogs come together as one and celebrate a new discovery. A good example this year is the Maggie Rogers song Alaska. It was picked up by over 40 Hype Machine listed blogs in a short space of time. More recently Porcelain the debut track from Scandinavian newcomer Skott was subject to intense praise from over 30 such sites (as I correctly predicted when I wrote about her – suggesting that Porcelain was exactly the sort of song bloggers would love - we're so bloody predictable). Interestingly both of these artists also came with an endorsement from another established popstar (Pharrell for Maggie Rogers and Lorde for Skott), so maybe if you’re a new artist about to release something you might want to give Bjork a ring and get her on board?

Now the second track by Skott arrives and once again the blogosphere is getting excited (and that includes this blog). This one is called Wolf, and continues my (currently very vague) theory that there’s a growing trend for whacking an animal reference into your new pop song somewhere; from Soffi Tukker’s Soft Animals EP to Petite Meller’s videos where the likes of giraffes and flamingos star, to Aurora’s Running With The Wolves to both Casi and Kacy Hill releasing songs called Lion. OK, this is probably the least thought out theory in the history of this blog, but if there’s going to be another 30 odd Hype Machine listed blogs all writing about this song (we’re already at 16 including this one) waxing lyrical about the quality of the music, at least this post adds something different to the mix. Right? 

OK, you want some journalistic words about the song? Well you’ve probably come to the wrong place. But Wolf is certainly better than quite good (there’s a quote the PR people won’t be using on the next press release) but you can make your own judgement on that rather than just trusting my words. I guess I'd describe Wolf as being another one of those pop songs for people that don’t normally like pop music. It certainly throws in all sorts of instrumentation as it goes on. There's some lyrics about being a wolf and howling on your doorstep, which is probably quite annoying in reality. However, I particularly like the line about her haircut being different - I'd never really thought that wolves had haircuts? But maybe I'm not thinking deeply enough about the song.

Wolf is taken from Skott’s forthcoming double-sided 7-inch single released on July 29th via Chess Club in the UK and B3SCI in the U.S (order here in the UK and here in the U.S)

Skott also has the following debut live dates confirmed: 13th September Way Out West, Gothenburg. 28th September Notting Hill Arts Club, London (with Muna), 29th September Birthdays, London (a free gig), 26th October Pitchfork Music Festival, Paris

Skott - Wolf

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