K Skelton is a versatile musician. Arguably, he’s only released two songs – Drugs and Trouble – so the data might be skewed, but both songs, fantastic in their own rights, push the edges of what it means to be a singer-songwriter. Trouble is the bigger, bolder, fuller, almost orchestral song of the two. Skelton lays down a booming wall of instruments and eeks his voice into the middle. Just when you think the drums and horns and guitar and bass are going to overwhelm he lets loose, and the stoner melancholy of his typical style falls away to reveal a big, booming holler underneath it all. Drugs on the other, perhaps as an allusion to the name, is a slinkier, more singular bit of music, K Skelton alone in a room, guitar in hand, a 4-track whirring in the background. Rather than allow himself to just be that though, another singer-songwriter moping around a dusty attic, Skelton slowly, meticulously layers on conflicting, yet beautiful layers; the hard pluck of guitar, the almost alien harmony of a female singer – each one altering the song slightly. Skelton’s style on Drugs feels like an alternative future for Radiohead, where instead of synths and bad hair, they stuck to sparse guitar arrangements and the untold power of a single voice projected against silence. As a musician, Skelton, on just two song has showcased his ability to strut the spectrum. Now let’s see what he does next.
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