Named for the peace he feels around animals, as opposed to people, Skittish is the brainchild of Jeff Noller, with the Minnesota artist being its creative force for more than a decade. ‘Savannah Sessions’, their seventh album, is set for release on September 18, while the single ‘Car Crash Companion’ is out today.
Signed to Spectra Records in 2013, Skittish soon became a midwestern music staple, hitting the road and making touring a part of their life for years. They charted with CMJ, and were nominated for two Independent Music awards in 2016, for album and single of the year respectively. In 2018 however, Noller took a step back and left for Savannah, in order to study film sound, in gradute school.
Speaking of his time in Savannah, Noller said,
“Dive bars were replaced with classrooms, and my days started at 8am. Yeah, it was a bit of an adjustment.”
Studying didn’t stop him making music however, and after hours he used the school’s studio to record, which he’d been writing, “instead of doing homework”. They eventually became ‘Savannah Sessions’, with local musicians joining forces to become part of Skittish.
“I met a busker in Forsyth Park who absolutely crushed anything on the violin. I managed to sneak in classmates who could sing and drum to fill out a few songs as well.”
Not long after finishing graduate school, quarantine began. Noller used the time to mix the songs he’d recorded, with ‘Car Crash Companion’ the most recent release from the set.
An alt-rock track, guitar led and slightly savage, ‘Car Crash Companion’ is reminiscent of the likes of Arcade Fire, and Plan B. There’s more than a hint of Elvis Costello there too – on the one hand it’s low impact easy listening, yet on the other hand the lyrics are dramatic and filled with pathos, Noller’s half screaming despair supported by the gentle backing vocals of Rachel Boissevain and Juliana Henao Mesa, with drums from Oleg Terentiev pulling everyone together.
Listen to ‘Car Crash Companion’ below: