Review Summary: The Perfect Shade of Green is an inspired album from a group that seems to be criminally overlooked.
The Perfect Shade of Green is a double album from the Minnesota indie-folk group Skittish.
This album is beautiful, complicated, and most importantly very good.
I was skeptical about a double album, but the two sides work well together. The first side seems to be Strokes and Arcade Fire inspired, and the second side has folk elements like you might find floating through an Okkervil River or Feist album.
It is the result of a year-and-a-half recording session in the basement studio of Jeff Noller and Vonnie Kyle.
The sonic quality is at times unprofessional, but the quality of the songs more than make up for it.
The first side opens up with the pounding indie-rock rhythm of 'Living Atop,' which then somehow transitions into the Celtic stomp of 'Love Songs and Lullabyes.' Skittish seems to be a band with eclectic musical tastes, and they let them all shine through on The Perfect Shade of Green. The first side closes with the very ambitious, eight and a half minute song 'Rearview Mirror.' This is Skittish at their most unfocused. The song has highlights, but seems to wander to and fro looking for a genre, or at least a proper ending.
The second, and in my opinion far better, side has absolute gems like 'Keep Driving,' 'Little Things,' Welcome to the Circus,' and 'The Entertainer.' All of these songs have a different feel to them, but all stand up on their own. Also, this side gives Vonnie Kyle a chance to really be heard. Songs like 'Little Things' and Bring out your Dead' showcase the range of her pipes. Kyle's lead singing on this album brings to mind a more sensitive Joan Jett, or a very sarcastic Karen Carpenter.
24 songs in one batch is quite a feat from a relatively unknown band, but each song seems to earn its spot on this hefty opus. How are they going to follow this up" Who knows. But I will definitely keep an eye out for Skittish in the new year.