Fresh out of Washington, D.C., Skymender’s debut album “If and Only” emerges with an immersive sound and a siren’s force. Self-described as shoegaze-adjacent, Skymender’s sounds invite you into a gauzy dreamworld. Their unique palette draws from post-punk, post-rock, emo, and dream pop to create a bright, lysergic-tinged tapestry.
The dual vocals from Ashley Scurto and guitarist Kenny Grose volley into an ethereal haze–sounds which take shape through the efforts of drummer S. Dwayne Bruner (Cross My Heart, Government Issue), guitarist James Banta, and bassist Zahin Huq. From the inception of an idea to the final recording, Skymender’s songwriting process is a distinctive confluence of talents. The many voices meld into one, creating a harmonious and otherworldly experience.
“If and Only” was recorded at the renowned Magpie Cage Studios in Baltimore, Maryland. Engineered, mixed, and co-produced by J. Robbins.
“This debut LP comes 30-35 years after U.K. shoegaze’s heyday? Yet they seem like a dreampop “everything bagel,”… tantalizing double-play of string-bending Valentines (Shields, Butcher) and frothy frizzy Cocteau Twins (Guthrie) guitars against sighing male and especially female (Lush/Slowdive) vocals (Benenyi/Goswell), Skymender also nod gently to more local bygones Lilys and even Shudder to Think”
-Jack Rabid, Big Takeover Magazine