Skullcrusher: Limited Edition Cloudy 12" EP
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- Release Date 23 October 2020
- Sorry Sold Out
- Vinyl LP
- Secretly Canadian
Skullcrusher is, by all accounts, an exploration of the ways you
become yourself when you aren’t looking – and how that feels once
you start paying attention. It’s a quiet power; a hushed celebration of
the tiny, understated subtleties that culminate into knowing yourself.
On her debut EP, songwriter Helen Ballentine offers an airy, intense,
and unflinchingly open collection of songs written about – and
from – one of life’s in-between gray areas, a stretch of uncertainty
and unemployment, and the subsequent search for identity. Here,
as Skullcrusher, Ballentine grapples with how to communicate her
private self to an audience.
The four dark, dreamy songs on her debut EP were influenced
by a strange-but-fitting amalgamation of media consumed in the
immediate aftermath of quitting her 9-5. There’s Valerie and her
Week of Wonders, the Czech new-wave film that went on to inform
Skullcrusher’s aesthetic. There’s Ballentine’s love of fantasy and
surrealism, her appreciation of the way fantasy novels juxtapose
beauty and violence.
Skullcrusher’s understated energy radiates with the atmosphere
of waking up to the quiet terror of shapeless, structureless days,
but it finds power in eschewing the pressures of careerism and a
vapid culture of productivity. Instead, as Skullcrusher, Ballentine has
the audacity to be comfortable enough with herself, and to simply
accept the unknown as her life.