Skylar Spence at Swedish American Hall, SF.
When Ryan DeRobertis announced the name change of his project from Saint Pepsi to Skylar Spence, there was no indication of any stylistic departure, though the change arrived with a musical shift toward faster tempos and more pristine production. Whereas Saint Pepsi had often used decades-old boogie, disco, and new wave as grist for the sampling mill, Skylar Spence is intent on trafficking more overtly in those genre aesthetics through his own production techniques and vocal contributions. With Prom King, DeRobertis reorients his music for his new full-band live act and winds up with an album full of tight and enveloping dance tunes.
Working with Carpark Records "gave me the confidence to 'go big' with the new material: to write pop songs with universal messages in the sonic wrapping paper that I've grown accustomed to," DeRobertis says. "A few songs on Prom King are about specific events in my life-a party where I got too messed up, watching a friend's life spiral out of control and trying to help-but I tried hard not to be too autobiographical because I want my music to unite, above all else. I'm much more interested in connecting with the listener than mystifying my personality."
While DeRobertis' previous long-players have been more amorphous collections in the style of beat tapes, Prom King is compact and cohesive, with the album's varied stylistic references (new wave, UK garage, boogie) united through strong guitar melodies and Todd Edwards-ian cobblings-together of tiny vocal samples. "I slowed some music down and called myself an artist," DeRobertis sings on lead single "Can't You See," acknowledging in his lyrics what is already apparent in the music's tone-he can maintain fidelity to his vision while working in more uptempo, disco-based song structures.
Category: Arts | Performing Arts | Music.
Sub-Categories: Live Music | Nightlife.
Artist / Speaker: Skylar Spence.