I used to be a people person, a social animal, the sort that would turn up to the opening of an envelope. Always meeting people, always doing things, never short of a place to visit or a gig to go to, 2020 could have been impossible.
It’s been anything but.
I check in with friends and they tell me that lockdown hasn’t been easy. They know me of old and acknowledge that if it’s been tough for them it must have been triple-hard for me.
But I’ve been lucky in lockdown. The day job has kept me busy and I’ve felt comfortable in the isolation of it all. When compared to the many millions around the world who have very real health and finance concerns, I’ve got off lightly so far. “I cannot grumble“, I tell those friends.
Two years ago, when I lived for long periods of time alone in this remote Spanish villa, I’d be the first to admit that I didn’t deal with the solitude especially well. I needed the bright lights of a big city to get my kicks, a frenzied time at a festival to wear me out before a week of villa-nada.
Perhaps that year was simply good practice for this, a dress rehearsal before the pandemic. I like being alone with my thoughts and a world of music to listen to. Take that away and I’d be fucked.
Skittish has a new album out today. Savannah Sessions was recorded when Jeff Noller, the driving force behind Skittish, rocked up to live in Savannah. He dragged in many local musicians to augment his ambition.
This is Skittish’s seventh album apparently. That’s a lot of catching up I have to get through on Spotify. But catch up I will for the impressions I get from hearing the singles from Savannah Sessions is that Skittish is an act I will grow to love. Literate and observational with power-pop swirls and folk flourishes, it’s stuff that’s right up my street.
Take album opener, Intro (vert). A pun of a title gives way to a beautiful break-up song beneath. “This was the first song I wrote when I got to Savannah. Two days after I arrived a hurricane passed by and shut down the city. I enjoy my solitude very much, but am worried about living that way too long, which is wrapped up in the chorus line ‘it’s a trial of solo vs. So long‘” – a chorus made for my villa reflection it would appear.
The other single from the record, Car Crash Companion, chimes in with a singalong chorus and vital power pop riffs. It also has a video with style, humour and awkward editing. “I make all of my videos for less than a hundred dollars“, says Skittish.
And with that you know that you’ve unearthed another lo-fi gem.