Skip Monday’s ‘Wildfire’ worth a listen

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First Posted: 3/9/2015

SCRANTON — The beautifully romanticized acoustic pop that Scranton’s Skip Monday practices comes together in the title track to the duo’s debut EP, “Wildfire.”

“I’m personally really proud of ‘Wildfire’ because I wanted to write a catchy song with almost a hip hop/pop beat,” said vocalist/guitarist Kaylin Karr, “And, it really came out how I wanted it to. It adds a different-vibed song to our catalog.”

Skip Monday, comprised of Karr and drummer/percussionist Nathan Montella, have a musical connection that was almost instantly identifiable upon the pair’s first meeting a year ago. The young musicians are now on a musical journey in full pursuit of a dream.

“We first met at a local coffee shop called Duffy’s Coffee House when Kaylin was playing solo,” Montella said. “She was in visiting from Tennessee and she was opening for a touring act. When I heard her play her songs I already knew what drum beats would go with what she was playing and I already knew that I wanted to play with her. So, we ended talking at the end of the night and getting together and jamming and it just took off from there.”

With a somewhat more ethereal take on indie acoustic pop, not far removed from hints of contemporary faves of the genre like The Civil Wars and The Head and The Heart, Skip Monday offers a world-weary, introspective ambiance with first-person point of view in their songwriting. The bare-bones guitar coupled with the sympathetic soul of Karr’s vocals and uniquely wooden-knocked percussive elements of Montella’s playing shows this band was never one to ponder cover material.

“Covers were never in our mindset,” Karr said. “Nate heard my originals, which is what I was focused on, he liked them and it clicked. We never wanted, nor were we going to be a cover band. But, because we play at some bars, we do throw some in.”

Montella elaborates on the all-original focus when he talks about the songwriting that went into the five-track “Wildfire” EP.

“The experiences writing the songs were great because Kaylin had already written them,” he said. “So, we just kept sitting down and I’d listen to them and we’d jam them out – they always ended up sounding great. It’s the same way with new material. Kaylin writes a song, shows it to me, and I add a drum beat that goes with it.”

Though there may be traces of other influences that bleed into their music, Skip Monday stands defiantly alone when asked about comparisons to other artists.

“There are a lot of bands who try to copy other artists. We both hate that,” Karr said. “To be honest, I’ve never tried to do that. I write what I feel, and sing how I feel artistically will benefit the songs. Same with guitar riffs, uke riffs, and piano. We’re not trying to be different than anyone; we’re just doing what we feel, and what comes out.”

“I think the acoustic works well because it’s easier to travel,” Montella said. “Plus, we can be really laid-back or really high-energy. Also, it gives more of a raw and intimate feel which we’re going for.”

“Wildfire” was released in January, and is now available via outlets like iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Spotify. It had a quick turnaround time.

“It was recorded at Republic Audio in Dalton, all done in January,” Montella said. “The process was great, because Clyde (Rosencrance, engineer/producer) was very easy to work with and it was exciting to hear everything come together, because we had never heard them recorded. Everything was just done live.”

To capture powerful performances in a short period of time emotion needs to be firmly in place. There’s no shortage of that with this band.

“Honestly, when we play, I just go into my own world and just feel it out because each time we perform Kaylin throws in a new vibe with the songs,” Montella said of the band’s almost spiritual headspace. “Kaylin feels the same way.”

Skip Monday is truly something different for the NEPA musical landscape, and the duo is pressing ahead with getting their music heard in any way possible.

“I really like our scene,” Montella said. “But honestly, there needs to be more original venues because a lot of the time the shows are 21 plus and it’s hard for kids to get out to shows. Kids really do make the scene and it’s sad sometimes seeing that. But, a lot of people are throwing shows in their basements or garages and churches so it’s cool to see that people are trying to change that.”

Both Karr and Montella said their intent is to make their music a career, being able to tour and eventually get signed to a worthwhile label.

They both said that they’d love to sellout venues and be nationally recognized.

For now, Skip Monday is content with delivering a little musical goodwill to their audiences and will continue doing so according to their already busy 2015 live schedule.

“I want people to be able to relate to the stories that are the songs,” Karr said. “We want to bring joy to people. We’re hoping that everyone who comes in contact with our music, at shows or just listening, feels happiness.”