You must be thinking is it thrash, doom or drone? None of these – Skullcrusher is the project of LA based songwriter Helen Ballentine who makes rich acoustic sounds that lean in the new folk direction. Having shifted from an art college/gallery pathway to focus all her creative energy on music, Ballentine seems to have made a leap very much in the right direction. Her self-titled debut EP due for release on Secretly Canadian on 26th June sounds like the confident steps of a new artist ready to join the next wave of impressive songsmiths alongside Squirrel Flower and Blackfoot Eagle Scout.
We have already had the hypnotic first track from the EP ‘Places/Plans’ and now comes another preview, the equally enticing ‘Days of Show’. Built once more around Skullcrusher’s confident guitar pulse and her rich resonant voice, the track increases in urgency with an unravelling wash of synths and some clean Saddle Creek drumming. It is innocent and eerie at the same time, personal and probing, introspective but never in danger of disappearing. With that tension and chill rippling underneath Skullcrusher’s gorgeous melodies you can see exactly where the name came from.