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Sky Larkin Kaleide
Released 6 August 2010
Producer Who
Label Wichita
Length 40:46
Genre Indie
Website www.weareskylarkin.com

Sky Larkin release their second album Kaleide on Wichita recordings this month, and to anyone that's heard their first album The Golden Spike, there's not much- if any- of a progression in style. Yet there seems to be a slight progression in skill, where the songs sound cleaner, lighter, and bouncier in a nice, fun sort of way. Sky Larkin's feet are firmly planted in the sometimes feared soil of the "indie-pop" genre, with the album peppered with catchy guitar riffs and pleasant sing-along lyrics ,and with this in mind I would normally be one to advise caution with an album such as this.

However there's something surprisingly charming that draws you into this album the more listens you give it. Perhaps it's Katie Larkin's sometimes exuberant, slightly quirky, and always honest vocals that power each song. It's very refreshing to find an indie group that has confidence in their own voice ; there's no faux-American accents to be found here. Then there’s the unconventional and slightly kooky lyrics that have you singing along after a few listens, coupled with toe tapping rhythms and melodious, singing guitar riffs.

Each song is neat, clever, tight and has some element that appeals, and on the same hand, elements that show that this band are still on a big learning curve. Track 5 on the album, 'Angelica Huston', is a nice slow-moving ditty with a quirky edge, and incredibly catchy lyrics. However it's hugely repetitive, and the lyrics wear thin rather quickly. 'Landlocked' almost displays the band's potential for an ability to master dynamics and use it to the advantage of a simple song, opening with whispering lyrics from Larkin, then bursting into an energetic tune - but from there on in the song loses interest and lacks punch. Tracks of particular note are 'Coffee Drinker', which has quite an appealing  breakdown of harmonious descending melody, rolling drums, and plodding, heavy guitar riffs, and 'ATM' which exemplifies their potential for good lyrics as they ponder whether "a selfish heart is a truthful muscle".  For me the high point of the album is the flawless 'Smarts' which closes the album with a good strong tune, boasting a beautiful, creeping, rollicking drum beat that sounds like a distorted heartbeat, or a horse trot. The vocals soar and dip around singing guitars playing a delicate melody of simple lines, and each of these elements combine like pieces of a jigsaw to produce a song that demands repeat listens.

The problem with this album however, is that though each song has individual appeal, it all sounds similar, and they run the risk of becoming a bit boring. As Katie sings on opener 'Still Windmills'; "I knows there's potential" - and Sky Larkin are a band with bucket loads of it, if they decide to mix things up a bit, step out of their comfort zone, and turn their talented hands to different styles. So while this is an album worth a listen, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the next album builds on what they have created here, and tries something new.

- Eadaoin Browne