Sky Larkin The Golden Spike Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Looks like 2009's gonna be golden for Sky Larkin.

Sophie Bruce 2009

Leeds has a chequered musical history – for every Kaiser Chiefs and Corinne Bailey Rae there are hundreds of frustrated failures. The Golden Spike may sound more like a Phillip Pullman novel than a hit album, but something just feels right about Leeds band Sky Larkin's debut from start to finish.

There’s a familiar, comforting vibe to their music right from the word go on album opener Fossil, I. The exact magic's difficult to pinpoint – maybe it's the perfect mix of indie-pop, or lead singer Katie Harkin's vocal style?

She is a mish-mash of The Ting Tings' Katie, Republica's Saffron, Kay from Letters To Cleo, Evanescence's Amy, Paramore’s Hayley – in a nutshell, some of the leading female vocalists from the last ten years of the genre. And that's without the strong hints of Bjork.

There's no slouching from the two males in this trio though – with varied and vibrant backing that's drum heavy on some tracks, and bursting with guitar riffs on others. And Sky Larkin appreciate the value of leaving us wanting more – Fossil, I clocks in at a gnat's sneeze over 2 minutes.

Pica's catchy lyrics (''I'm eating all his coal because I'm trying to make a diamond'') will have you humming along even if they’re too fast for you to match. One Of Two is just a great song, plain and simple. Who knows what inspired Matador's bizarre words, but the awesome melody means you don't need to care.

The band are certainly kicking off this year as they mean to go on – unleashing a brilliant debut produced by the man who steered Death Cab For Cutie to success and bagging a headline slot on Radio 1 star Huw Stephens' Introducing tour. Looks like 2009's gonna be golden for Sky Larkin.

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