Once described as the lovechild of Robert Smith and Boy George, the beard-afflicted, kohl-eyed singer-songwriter James AJ Scott put The Vaulted Skies (UK) together in 2013 to bring peace to the galaxy through a fusion of edgy alternative rock and danceable electronica, shot through with the dynamics of grunge and bouts of epic melancholia.
In his iconic yellow woollen-framed spectacles and badge- emblazoned lab-coat, Doktor Ben Singleton can be found stage-right conducting sonic experiments on a second guitar alongside Scott’s. The line-up is completed by bassist Andy McFarlane, who joined after answering an ad on a sort of Tinder for musicians, and a revolving cast of drummers who are summoned using incantations of questionable moral (and health & safety) standards.
The Vaulted Skies have a new single ‘Almost Happy’ out 21st April.
“One Friday, at the end of June, 2020, I lost my job as part of a round of Covid lay-offs. I had hated working for the company anyway, and had only started there in March. So despite the huge financial uncertainty that came with the scenario, I was actually quite relieved to be free of the toxicity that underpinned the culture there.”
“On the Sunday, I decided to give myself a break from job-hunting and pick up my guitar. I was trying to stay calm and take stock of all the positives. And this song arrived, pretty much fully formed.”
“This song is about appreciating what you have. Practicing gratitude. Clouds and silver linings.”
“This song is different from previous releases, although it’s got a sort of grunge quiet/loud dynamic that features in many of our songs, it feels a bit more mainstream in some ways. I think partly because it’s grounded in such a common experience, and partly because the structure is quite conventional. So it’s not as edgy or subversive as most other material. That worried me at first because I thought our core audience might not like it, but when we played it as part of our set opening for Gene Loves Jezebel last year, it was clear that the appeal was broad, and that people were willing to accept it among a set of otherwise quite dark and angular material. I think that’s because it comes from a place of honesty, of authentic personal experience.”
“There are still clear references to core influences like The Cure and Nirvana, but here we’re also channeling Elliot Smith, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins and Pixies.”
“We recorded the song in December 2022 at Jackdaw Studios, which is Mat Hector’s place. Mat is a session drummer, known for his work with Iggy Pop, Razorlight and Marc Almond, among others. In absence of a permanent drummer in The Vaulted Skies, he’d been playing with us a lot that year (and is also performing on the track), and he brought in Mark Neary to engineer and co-produce. Mark’s a genius, and works very quickly. I remember I was trying to explain the descending strings hook that I wanted in the verses, and out of nowhere he whipped out this little black box, twisted a few knobs and created a perfect representation of the sound in my head!”
Written by: leancool20
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