Helen Ballentine aka Skullcrusher released one of our favourite EPs of 2020, so we’re excited that she’s already got a follow-up on the way: Storm in Summer arrives on April 9 via Secretly Canadian. The new five-track offering features recent single “Song For Nick Drake” as well as the new single “Storm in Summer”, about which Ballentine says:
“I wrote “Storm in Summer” after releasing the first Skullcrusher EP. Over that summer I thought a lot about what it means to really put myself out there and share something personal. I felt so vulnerable and overwhelmed by the fact that these songs I had written in private were exposed and likely being misinterpreted or disliked. I think the song really tries to communicate these anxieties in a cathartic way while also leaning more into the beauty of relinquishing part of myself.”
Since the release of Skullcrusher we’ve gradually heard Ballentine add more layers to her music, and “Storm in Summer”, appropriately, is the most populated song we’ve heard yet. Drums underpin a flurry of banjo and washes of guitar, giving the whole thing a swirling atmosphere that really emboldens the feeling of being inside the singer’s mind where a million little neuroses and thoughts vie for attention, before it builds to the euphorically introspective finale: “I wish you could see me.”
It’s amazing that, even with all the added layers, Skullcrusher’s core of vulnerable truth remains intact and radiant. She continues to beckon us into her fraught thoughts, even as she’s second guessing whether it’s the right thing to do. We’re thankful she’s still letting us in.