Photo: Silken Weinberg

Skullcrusher yearns to escape her skin in “Day of Show”

Skullcrusher – the LA-based songwriter Helen Ballentine – recently announced her debut self-titled EP with the excellent “Places/Plans”, and today follows it up with another cut from the upcoming collection called “Day of Show”. She lets us in on its creation, saying:

“I wrote ‘Day of Show’ on a hot day last summer in my roommate’s bedroom because mine didn’t have AC. I felt dazed and restless from sitting around in the heat all day. It is a song about feeling trapped in yourself, unable to help yourself and reluctant to let others in. It explores the fragmented behavior and thoughts that arise from this feeling: a kind of daydreaming that can be really creative but also the darkness that also exists there. It’s musically inspired by a lot of the shoegaze music I listen to.”

In “Day of Show”, Skullcrusher takes us right into that stifling bedroom with simple acoustic and syrupy synth whispering underneath. We can feel the stubborn air slowly moving around her, and the thoughts in her mind shifting just as sluggishly. This allows us to perch on every memory she shares and feel the weight of what they once meant, before they drift away in the breeze from the fan. The peak of “Day of Show” comes with the sudden exclamation “I’ve been searching for an hour in my closet / trying to figure out what to wear / for a day I’ll spend alone in my room.” The lifting of her voice to deliver this catharsis knocks you out of your daydream, and you realise that all these thoughts have been leaving an imperceptible strain on the singer, who suddenly cracks – and the pure vulnerability is stunning.

Skullcrusher’s debut EP, Skullcrusher, comes out through Secretly Canadian on June 26. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.