Skye | Ross Share Their Live Sound On Self-Titled Album
by Stefani Reynolds
After making music with the band Morcheeba for more than twenty years, Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey have decided to venture away from the trio and make an album of their own. Their latest endeavor, “Skye and Ross,” developed from a desire to leave the world of highly produced music behind for a more stripped down, “live” feel.
Looking for a more natural feel, they wanted to take their recording out of the studio and return to the days prior to Morcheeba’s commercial success. They decided to make this album directly out of their homes, and in doing so, kept it pretty close to the family as well. Other than Edwards and Godfrey themselves, there were only four other musicians who contributed to the album, and all but one is a relative of the duo in some way. Skye’s husband Steve backed the duo on bass, while her son, Jaega, added the drumbeat that contributed a hip-hop feel to the album. Ross’ wife, Amanda, contributed the otherworldly vocals that resonate so beautifully throughout the album, lending her voice for backup. Although Richard Milner is not related to the pair, the Morcheeba keyboardist of the last five years also made his mark on the new Skye and Ross album, rounding out the small circle of people they allowed into their world of recording
“Repay the Saviour” opens the album with eerie reverb, but it is quickly softened with a simplistic, yet beautiful, guitar melody and effortlessly smooth vocals. “Light of Gold,” the album’s first single, propels the ablum by combining Edwards’ dreamy, echoing backup vocals with a mellow hip-hop beat and striking sound effects. The psychedelic guitar riffs throughout the song add an extra level of interest to a unique love song.
“How to Fly” is the first upbeat song on the album, and it immediately adds a new life to the record. The screaming guitar and heavy drum section adds a rock ‘n’ roll feel to an album that primarily consists of a soul/hip hop vibe.
There is a drastic, yet welcome, change from the upbeat rock feel in “Clear My Mind.” With nothing but a singular, mellow acoustic guitar and vocals, a sort of cleansing occurred somewhere between these two songs. Stripped down to its simplest, most beautiful form, “Clear My Mind” truly encompasses what the entire album really stands for. Taking away the immense amount of production makes it feel like someone is sitting next to you with their guitar, baring their soul.
“The Point of No Return” finishes the album out strong. The longest song on the album, it ends with howling “winds” that, in a strange way, seem to push listeners back into reality.
In this case, less is truly more. Though their production choices were minimalistic, their musical complexity shines via smart vocal layering and skillfully placed synths. The hip-hop/R&B influence is still especially evident throughout the entire album, with soulful, dynamic vocals that seem to effortlessly project incredibly intense emotion with every word. The new project takes a divergent approach to song production and changes the way listeners experience the kind of music the duo naturally makes.
Although this new record is a separate project from Morcheeba, it does not mark the end of the band. “Skye and Ross” gives listeners an opportunity to experience the same dynamic that the two musicians display on stage, but allowed the duo to capture it forever on a studio album. It is available September 2 via Cooking Vinyl, but you can hear them at one of their many tour dates leading up to the album release.
Songs to listen to: Light of Gold, How to Fly, Clear My Mind