“All Skinny Dippers need is a guitar, and the compelling flow of music starts from there.”
After releasing back to back singles that garnered the interest of the indie community, Skinny Dippers, also known as Ryan Gross, have gone on to create an album full of songs that are just as harmonious. From the cover art to the abstraction of the lyrics, where love goes hand in hand with nature, each section of ‘The Town & The City’ syncs together delectably.
‘Boat On The Water’ is a serene song, featuring gentle acoustics that concur with the story full of similes and figurative phrases. ‘One that I’ve swayed towards, like a boat out on the water’ is the perfect example, and my favourite lyric of the song. And then we have the epitome of dream pop ‘Home’. It might make you a little sad that you don’t live in Maine, but that shows how Skinny Dippers naturally transmit feelings to music, and then to us as listeners.
The title that really stood out to me was ‘Big City, Small Apartment’. Here we get to listen to Gross’ paradisal vocals among a beautifully composed array of guitar notes. Things aren’t overcomplicated with the production, but the tune still stays unique to any other song on the album. It truly makes it feel like your standing on a balcony, watching cars go by.
Talking of watching things go by, next Skinny Dippers take us through ‘Night To Day’. It’s got that unprompted excitement to it, where time is no longer a concept. Unfortunately it is though, and we reach the end of this upbeat tune. It ends superbly however, finishing on the word ‘you’ which fades off breezily into the distance of New York, which he previously referenced: ‘But I’m thinking you’re the Brooklyn bridge lit up at night’.
There’s not so many lyrics in ‘Icarus Emerged’, but there is just as much emotion within them. The repetition of the line ‘But oh don’t leave me hangin’ dry’ is tear-jerking in itself, especially when backed by slow tempo bliss. ‘I Would Like To Say I Always Loved You’ has us tapping into similar feelings – this time with a faster melody, perhaps mirroring the pace of time; an enemy in this song, but a personified conflict in the whole album. In their press release, it was mentioned that Skinny Dippers confront ‘leaving home, heartache, and the pains of adulthood’ in ‘The Town And The City’, and I think they intertwine each time period melodically and meticulously.
You can listen to the album here: