Folk-Rock Artist Skittish Drops New Album, ‘Midwest Handshake’
The 10-track record throws listeners back to retro while immersing present-day emotions.
Los Angeles, CA (August 25, 2023) – Rising Folk-Rock artist Skittish officially releases his 10-track album ‘Midwest Handshake’ on Friday, August 25. Inspired by sounds from the 1960’s Muscle Shoals era of music, this record bathes present-day emotions in a retro aura of sound, creating an organic and grounded composition. The album includes nuances of orchestral instruments, which was an important element for the artist since he has been working in film sound production for the last few years.
Although the sound of popular music has changed over the course of time, overarching generational problems have remained the same and their sentiments continue to seep into modern-day music. The lyrics behind Midwest Handshake are a testament to timeless themes such as social division, dating, and love, and more.
SONG CREDITS (by track number)
Jeff Noller – Vocals, Instruments, Writing; Gracie Huffman – Vocals on 2, 4, and 7; Chris Lahn – Orchestration; Brian Griffin – Drums on 4 and 7; Mark O’Day – Drums on 2, 3, 5, 9; Jeremy Krueth – Percussion on 1; Jacqueline Ultan – Cello; Stephen Murray – Stand Up Bass; Ben Etter – Mixing and Additional Production.
“The songs on this album are a mixture of lessons from the last few years of my life. I grew up in the midwest and after traveling all over the country, I recently landed in LA. Navigating new waters such as the LA social landscape, dating scene, and cultural climate are all challenges I’ve channeled into my new music.”
— Skittish, Folk-Rock Musician
Though currently based in Los Angeles, the roots of Skittish have always been Minnesotan. ‘Midwest Handshake’ was written by Jeff Noller (Skittish) over a two-month visit back home, temporarily trading the land of Teslas and tents for 10,000 lakes. The songs are framed in various Mid-20th Century musical styles that would likely be played at the Grand Ol’ Opry in 1960 (with a dash of ’80s-inspired emo sounds and tones). Modern topics like entrenched politics, media obsession, and are given a retro-veneer, implying we still have the same concerns and desires as we once did, just a different ways of expressing them. Noller is supported by additional lead vocals from Gracie Huffman (Lighthearted) as well as string and brass orchestration provided by Chris Lahn. Drummer Brian Griffin (Lana Del Rey, Dolly Parton) lends his talents to 3 songs, as Jeremy Krueth and Mark O’ Day round out the rest of the percussion. Stand up bass and cello are prominently featured on the album, and are played masterfully by Stephen Murray and Jacqueline Ultan, respectively. Additional mixing and production help was provided by Ben Etter (Deerhunter, Kaiser Chiefs) whose analogue wonderland provided just the right amount of muscle-shoals-esque grit to the mix. This is the 7th full-length album released by Skittish. Existing somewhere in the friction caused by our idealized version of home rubbing against reality. The lush instrumentation evokes a fuzzy black and white sitcom, while vocal barbs remind the listener of the task at hand. ‘Midwest Handshake’ officially released on August 25th and is now available for streaming on all platforms.
Stay tuned for more Skittish updates and announcements to come!
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