Sky Larkin - Kaleide
Sky Larkin's second full length gets our verdict.
To call Sky Larkin’s debut album ‘The Golden Spike’ underrated is to succumb to journalistic cliché. When your biggest influences are Pavement and Sleater-Kinney, commercial success is always going to take a back seat, even if the critics want to touch you in your special places. ‘The Golden Spike’ had hits, but it was also elusive and coy; a mischievous little indie-pop record. For the follow-up, Sky Larkin have returned to the same city, Seattle, and the same producer, John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, The Blood Brothers). Naturally therefore, ‘Kaleide’ is an apt successor – a bit smoother round the edges, a bit beefier, a touch more experimental, but still packed with the band’s pop hooks. ‘Still Windmills’, ‘Year Dot’ and the title track are the huge singles, but there’s plenty of juicy intrigue too: the addition of keyboards on ‘Anjelica Huston’ and ‘ATM’ add mournful depth, ‘Spooktacular’ has a fiery outro, and Katie Harkin’s mumbled opening to ‘Landlocked’ is disorientating until the song bursts into life. ‘Kaleide’ runs out of steam towards its close – heaven knows why the original, blustery version of ‘Smarts’ has made way for a sombre reworking – but it’s still an enjoyable, grown-up follow-up to the band’s debut.