Photo by Jason Quever / Album Review by Ziv Biton
Some summers are rage-fests filled with reckless decisions and hangovers. The eternal summer of Skygreen Leopards may be reckless, but would be too preoccupied with enjoying the sunshine to consider raging. Throughout their newest release, Family Crimes, the California duo create a bleary-eyed aesthetic that is equal parts Laurel Canyon folk and lackadaisical indie pop. The record finds the group dealing with more intense material than on their previous releases. With songs like “Leave The Family,” “Love Is A Shadow” and “Crying Green and Purple,” Donovan Quinn and Glenn Donaldson create a swirling bummer summer filled with missed opportunities. And yet, when the duo sing, “Here are the flowers/waiting for the sun,” you get the feeling that there is an understanding that prevails through the record: opportunities come and go, soak in the sun and live in the moment.
Why We Dig Them:
A lot has happened in music since the Skygreen Leopards’ first album One Thousand Bird Ceremony hit shelves in 2004. Kanye graduated college, several white dudes behind MacBooks became the most overpaid talent in the world and Coachella turned into an indulgent musical mecca. In an ever-changing industry that has seen an intense shift in sonic palatability as well as overall message (see: every EDM song), it’s nice to know that groups like Skygreen Leopards still exist. A band that isn’t afraid to leave in the blemishes of their recordings and go so far as to question our obsession with perfection.
“Leave The Family” shows off Skygreen Leopards’ penchant for ear-catching melody and storytelling. The opening synth immediately hooks you into the sun-bleached heartbreak of the narrator who, for reasons unknown, “Leaves the family and don’t come back.” The track introduces Skygreen Leopards’ aesthetic for the entire album.
“Love is a Shadow” is instantly recognizable and painfully sentimental. The lyrics paint a nostalgic picture while also touching on personal truths that we often ignore. The lyrics, “It’s the memories you hide from yourself” is only one of the key introspective offerings the group exposes.
Three Words To Describe Skygreen Leopards: Endearing – Introspective – Sentimental.
Upcoming Tour Dates w/ Woods:
08/05 Woodsist Festival Big – Sur Big Sur, CA
08/12 Cellar Door – Visalia, CA
08/14 Casbah – San Diego, CA
08/16 Woodsist Festival Pioneertown – Pioneertown, CA
08/17 Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
Artist: The Skygreen Leopards
Album: Family Crimes
Release Date: July 8, 2014
1. Leave The Family
2. Love is a Shadow
3. My Friends
4. WWIII Style
5. Is it Love, Love, Love?
6. Reno Wedding
7. It’s Not Love
8. Crying Green & Purple
10. Mascara Priscilla
11. Selling T-Shirts
12. Garden Blue
13. Leave the Family Reprise
14. Suburban Bibles