The Skeleton Dead
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The Skeleton Dead

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic


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"Deadly Folk"

Here’s a note to all publicists who send submissions to Noise Narcs: do exactly what The Skeleton Dead did. Get the reference our (dreadfully Photoshopped) logo makes to the classic arcade game NARCS and then blow us away with unexpectedly great tunes.

The Skeleton Dead are a duo from London, although their heart lies “somewhere along the coast of the Solway Firth deep in the industrial north west of England.” Which, given my expert knowledge of British geography, puts them in the same cheery territory as Channel Four’s The Red Riding trilogy [Ed: wrong coast, idiot.] Despite their black metal name, Knol and Claire’s sound is a heavy folk dash of Leonard Cohen and Smog, with a pinch of the stark vocal duets of Low and the icy prettiness of Broadcast. Knol handles primary vocal duties, and he has a voice that lingers, gravely and tender, with just a touch of the strut of Jarvis Cocker. A voice that I wouldn’t mind getting lost in for an album. Or four.

Their Soundcloud has two additional songs on par with these two. Ignore the below tags, file this under “bands to keep a serious eye on” and “music to listen when facing a dying fire while drinking bitter.”

- Noise Narcs

"The Skeleton Dead - New Music Introducing"

The Skeleton Dead are a duo from London who formed in the summer of 2010. They have released four tracks via their MySpace / Soundcloud pages.

You can stream a couple of those at the end of this post and I'd recommend you do just that...

The band state an influence as Leonard Cohen and you can hear that in the reflective and sometimes witty lyrics which tell tales of death, love and Seafaring. The latter is the clear theme in my pick of the four tracks “A Nautical Tale”. Knol, the main vocalist, has a distinct low, hushed voice which combines wonderfully in contrast with Claire's pretty sweet vocal. Musically simple and sparse, the main instrument throughout is an understated and gentle acoustic guitar, which is plucked over the smooth dual vocal with splendid grace. Although the enchanting “Gather up Your Clothes” runs it quite close with its pretty, graceful melody.

If your enjoy folk music and the utter simplicity of plucked acoustic guitar combined with some well-measured vocals, The Skeleton Dead may well be a new group worth savouring.
- Just Music That I Like

"Introducing... The Skeleton Dead"

The Skeleton Dead are a fledgling band of only six months but this is something to marvel at rather than use as any sort of rationale. What sets the bar at a different level is the Greek/bouzouki-style guitar rhythm that hooks you in from the very first bar: it’s both memorable and hypnotic.

This is like a combination of many of my favourite musical influences – and I have absolutely no idea what the Skeleton Dead’s are – a little bit of Willard Grant Conspiracy, coupled with a bit of Lanegan and Campbell, even a hint of Magnetic Fields.

The dark with the light; the bare and transparent; a simple arrangement that works so well with the intensity of this song. It’s a lament, a regret. It’s time for him to leave – but will she leave with him? I’m hoping this is the first of many from the Skeleton Dead. Intense.

- The Mad Mackerel

"The Skeleton Dead"

“Be quiet, don’t speak, as we put these men to sleep”

As ‘A Nautical Theme’ enters its hymnal, lullaby-like chorus, your eyes quiver under the pressure of rest, the night turning your head to the other side of your pillow, the beginning of hours and hours of being unconscious.

The Skeleton Dead don’t specialise in night-time swan-songs, but they deliver those that they choose to make with such delicate beauty and care that it’s the first thing that allows them to stand out. Then comes the reassuring, Bill Callahan-esque vocals of male vocalist Tom, backed up by companion Claire’s soft vocals that meet like old acquainted friends with her partners.

‘Are You Going To Overreact’, beginning with pent-up chords not far from something on an early Doves record, is another well-restrained, charming folk outing. But there’s an added energy to the already announced sleepy atmosphere.

We’ll provide you with the chance to hear both of these songs in order to explore two of several sides to the London two-piece who, by the looks of things, have potential to explore countless more musical territories. [JM]

- Music Fan's Mic

"On the Horizon: Grave Digging, The Skeleton Dead"

A Nick Cave-like baritone and an ethereal coo wafting atop sea shanty acoustics and a spot of synth, The Skeleton Dead are quite something, that something being despondently uplifting, hopelessly hopeful. If we're often rather superficial, somewhat short-sighted featuring no more than three minutes of any one artist, given the macabre, graveyard ethereality of London-based duo Tom and Claire we're going the whole hog.

A Nautical Theme by The Skeleton Dead
Emerging amidst the sounds of knocking on heaven's door out in the eye of Channel tempest, A Nautical Theme sounds a little like a bedraggled Brad Hargett washing up in a deserted Calais.

Are You Going to Overreact? by The Skeleton Dead
Are You Going To Overreact? introduces Claire as sultry vocals swoon over swirling slide guitars, equal parts gruelling and glorious.

I Get So Lonesome Without You by The Skeleton Dead
Medieval nylon strings and once again rather nautical rhythmic ebbing and flowing, I Get Lonesome Without You could be considered the most spiritual song never to have graced Glastonbury.

Gather Up Your Clothes by The Skeleton Dead
Nylon strings return on Gather Up Your Clothes, Tom's deadpan vox drawling lyrics of slot machines, beer jackets, static caravans and bank holidays.

For more info on The Skeleton Dead, their Myspace can be found here, whilst their Soundcloud currently houses these four startling pieces of splendour. We've been utterly endeared already. So too ought you. - Dots & Dashes

"First On: The Skeleton Dead"

Not many bands form on a whim, dressed in flat caps and Val Doonican cardigans, mimicking the appearance of a stereotypical old person for a friend’s birthday party. Nevertheless, The Skeleton Dead managed to. “We’ve a lot of the same friends in London so have always ended up talking about music when we’ve seen each other in the pub or at house parties,” muses Tom, one half of the two-piece. Dressed in such admirable attire, Tom deemed it a good time to suggest recording some songs together with Claire - who has spent the last few years playing with The Krak and The Suffrajets (two bands of an entirely different disposition to that of her latest project).

The Skeleton Dead is something very much new for both Tom and Claire. They retreat to a Highbury basement where whimsical, delicate little songs emerge. Their influences, shown without hesitation on their finest song to date, ‘A Nautical Theme’, range from Morrissey to, more notably, Bill Callahan. The latter could have morphed himself into Tom’s body, judging from the aforementioned song. Low and wise, his vocals make a perfect contrast to Claire’s lightly applied harmonics. Tom’s influences come from the lyrical talent of Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker (“anyone who can weave a bit of humour with some menace”) whilst Claire’s background is more indebted to the original Brazilian folk style of Villa Lobos or the frighteningly talented Rodrigo y Gabriela. Together they make an intriguing prospect.

An album release is some distance away, although one would expect action within the next couple of years, assuming someone with knowledge and resources picks them up. Currently however, the band are settled: “the songs have almost written themselves, which has been really refreshing”, says Tom, “hopefully that’s a trend that’s going to continue...” - This is Fake DIY


The Skeleton Dead - LP - 2011 Glyph Recordings

Two Days in February - EP - 2012 Glyph Recordings



It's the crash of the waves sends me weak at the knees...

Two people based in London but with a soul that lies in the industrial North West, somewhere along the Solway Firth. Powered by electricity and recent memory we write songs on classic themes of love, seafaring and finding porn hidden in the woods.

Influences worn unashamedly on sleeve: Bill Callahan, Leonard Cohen, Steven Patrick Morrissey, guitars with nylon strings and anything that includes an ethereal, reverb-soaked harmony or two.