Fri, Dec 8 at 8:30pm
at The Tonic Lounge
$7 advance // $10 doors
adv tix: soundcontrolpdx.com
Soundcontrol PDX Presents:
For as long as they could hold an instrument, sisters Aly and Mandy Payne had the benefit of a partner through which to filter their artistic progression. Naturally, the rate of evolution for Skull Diver moved fast. What requires deliberation for most they do instinctively. Sharing duties as multi-instrumentalists where one left off the other found new inspiration. Carving out their dynamic, Aly's unique playing style is perfectly tailored for Mandy's Vocals. Their musical collaboration isn’t so much a pastime as an identity around which everything else revolves. Growing up their intake of major influences was simultaneous and therefore proactive: The first time one of them heard King Crimson, Prince or Radiohead soon became an infectious awe they could share.
The early Skull Diver compositions were long, roomy abstractions-more an experiment in painting broad strokes of the subconscious. The sisters reflect on this period as more as a work-study period. With an interest in experimental audio rivaling their compositional desires, they toiled tirelessly to familiarize themselves with the world of analog circuitry, audio engineering, and midi programming, turning their house into a makeshift studio where songs could be taken through their entire evolution-from inception to perfection to production.
Skull Diver’s 2015 'Self-Titled' debut, however, captures the jubilance of an invention after the initial spark. It’s a tragically beautiful and poetic effort. Well studied and artfully self-produced over months of experimenting with how it should or could sound before finally being crowned complete.
For the bands 2017 independent release ‘Chemical Tomb", the alternate approach was to make the document while it was still raw. The thematic elements are darker, with a gravely dangerous bend due largely to the addition of percussionist Alexandra Geffel. Geffel was introduced to Skull Diver in late 2015 and quickly became the long sought after engine powering Skull Diver’s breakneck pace.
'Chemical Tomb' employs the same aching melancholy of Skull Diver’s debut but adds an element of aggressive dissonance. Its landscape is winding, with malevolent and often uncomfortably honest subject matter. Skull Diver’s ability to juxtapose doom and gloom riffage with sparkling synths and delicately frigid piano is masterful. It’s an inventive dichotomy that illustrates the rare ability to not only churn out the raw material but also refine it in post-production while retaining the initial vibrancy.
Like the Cecily Brown painting from which the band takes its name, Skull Diver’s textured complexity incorporates a varied array of tones and strokes. Their current pallette dips into the darker shades of our own humanity but its vibrancy is still sourced of something pure and familiar.
This Patch of Sky
"...With live performances, the band brings their spellbinding sonic odyssey to life in a powerful and dramatic way, creating an atmosphere that whisks the audience away. The band has shared the stages with the likes of Caspian, So Hideous, Native and more. “Our sets tend to be emotional, almost like a 45-minute soundtrack that doesn’t stop. Once we start playing, we don’t stop in-between songs,” notes Day. “Everything flows together and generally provides emotions of every sort. We’ve had many shows where people come up to us in tears after playing thanking us for putting them through a sort of cleansing process. Since we don’t have words in our songs, we let the listener interpret each song to how they need to interpret it and connect.”
“The album title — These Small Spaces — originally came to us as we were recording demos for the album in our bedrooms, living rooms, apartments, etc. The album artwork based around the album also depicts a girl being confined to a small space who is breaking away and floating upward towards the sky with no restraints. We felt like it represented this album perfectly."
Lasagna Palace is a two piece rock band formed in the depths of hell.