Robert Skoro
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Robert Skoro

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Artists of the Year "

Yes, Robert Skoro was born during the Reagan administration. Yes, his band played exactly two gigs in 2002. And yes, he released his lone solo album less than a month ago. Now he's getting praised in this space. If you detect a faint rumble, that's the sound of a hundred battle-scarred vets of the local rock scene, grinding their molars.

But never mind them. This spot is Skoro's, above all, for Proof, the debut disc he dropped in December. It's a quiet, graceful collection of pop songs about falling in love (with girls, with the world) and trying to figure it all out. Lush in spots and spare in others, it's sweet enough to overcome the sourest of grapes. And, according to the liner notes, it's almost entirely "written, arranged, produced, and performed" by Skoro, from supple bass and humming synths to rolling keys and programmed percussion. And even though it was mostly tracked in Skoro's apartment, it's beautifully recorded--particularly his vocals, which come off clear and resolute.

Good as it is, though, Proof isn't the only reason to recognize Skoro now. As a bass player, backing vocalist, merch-selling sidekick, and road-dog comrade, he's long been a linchpin of Mason Jennings's success. His role in that respect is clearer than ever on this year's Century Spring, on which Skoro sings; plays bass, piano, and organ; and shares the producer's credit. "He really sculpted the actual sound of the record," Jennings told me last March. "It's such a valuable skill that gets overlooked, but Rob's a master of it."

Full disclosure demands I mention that I consider Skoro a friend. Among other things, we've bonded over a shared obsession with the sort of heartsick ork-pop practiced by Damien Jurado, Elliott Smith, and the Shins. Of course, while I was busy sending him e-mails about records to dig, he made as fine a disc as any of them.

Anders Smith Lindall is a Chicago-based freelance writer.
- City Pages, Minneapolis


"Best Male Vocalist"

It hardly needs repeated kvetching, but Minnesota winters are harsh. Fortunately the voice belonging to local singer-songwriter Robert Skoro is as lightweight and airy as a pashmina shawl. It wraps itself around your neck and keeps you warmer than a hot water bottle. In Skoro's words--comforting and wise beyond the author's mere 24 years--you've got a new best friend. So perhaps you'll want to think of his debut solo work, Proof (Merciful), as the baby blanket of local releases. Since parting with Mason Jennings's band late last year, Skoro can more often be found around town, cozying up to the nightclub stage and warming an audience instead. - City Pages, Minneapolis


Discography

Proof (Merciful), 2003, available soon in the Itunes music store; "Influence" and "Morning", available exclusively at http://www.emusic.com/features/crisp_songs/

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

INFORMATION
Robert Skoro was an original member of The Mason
Jennings Band. He performed on Jennings' Birds Flying
Away and Century Spring, co-producing the latter. With
Jennings, Skoro shared such stages as New York City’s
Central Park Summerstage and San Francisco's Fillmore
Auditorium with such national acts as Jack Johnson,
Semisonic, Ben Harper, Pete Yorn, and The Jayhawks.

Robert Skoro was awarded City Pages Artist of the Year
2002 and Best Male Vocalist 2003. In addition to
having several singles in KUOM Radio K’s Top 7, his
first album, Proof, spent two weeks as the number one
record and six weeks in the top ten. In May of 2004,
Proof was also featured on the National Public Radio's
All Songs Considered, which allowed his music to be
introduced to a nationwide audience.

PRESS
"…the voice belonging to local singer-songwriter
Robert Skoro is as
lightweight and airy as a pashmina shawl. It wraps
itself around your neck and
keeps you warmer than a hot water bottle. In Skoro’s
words--comforting and
wise beyond the author’s mere 23 years--you’ve got a
new best friend."
-Melissa Maerz, City Pages, Minneapolis

"A confident and pretty first solo record."
-Stephen Schenkenberg, Playback St. Louis

"[Proof] is very much indicative of a gorgeous internal life in
an increasingly entropic environment. A saving grace."
-All Songs Considered, National Public Radio

"[Proof] is a quiet, graceful collection of pop songs
about falling in love (with
girls, with the world) and trying to fi gure it all
out. Lush in spots and spare in
others, it’s sweet enough to overcome the sourest of
grapes."
-Anders Smith Lindall, City Pages

BIO
Robert Skoro is a 23 year old artist from Minneapolis,
Minnesota. At seventeen, Skoro began playing bass and
singing harmonies with singer-songwriter Mason
Jennings. He toured North America for the next four
years, helping Jennings build an audience which has made him
one of the most successful independent artists to date.

Proof, Skoro’s debut album, released on his own
Merciful Recordings in December of 2002, was
co-produced with Polara frontman and Susstones label
guru Ed Ackerson. The record highlighted Skoro’s
considerable talents as a multi-instrumentalist,
songwriter, vocalist, and producer.

Skoro is currently in pre-production for an album to
be produced by Brian Deck (Red Red Meat, Modest Mouse,
Iron and Wine). The sound and scope of Skoro's
songwriting and production savvy has clearly matured
and expanded with this new collection of songs. While
the familiar settings that characterized Proof remain
- the bedroom, the countryside, the cityscape - his
intimate portrait of a young man falling in love with
the world has expanded into the mind, heart and
vigilant eyes of a man determined to define that world
even further. Relying upon his rare lyrical clarity
and the careful arrangement of complex
instrumentation, Skoro manages to do just this,
without ever leaning on the crutch of production.