Sam Skarstad makes fascinating music. Although he's just twenty years old (and his first release came when he was seventeen and still in high school, in fact Skarstad is now a student at Skidmore College in New York state), it's a shame that he has hidden the talent displayed here beneath the synthetic pop of NY band, Snakes Say Hisss. Skarstad's songs offer up sounds you've heard before, but the sounds you hear change as you listen. The guitar strings becoming pebbles striking water, or the synth-string section could be voices coming through walls, or birds screeching, or whatever your mood dictates.
Familiar music, or familiar patterns in music can be comforting even when they are stale; although all those familiar songs are playing, in your mind, the same video over and over and over. Listen to Skarstad and the curtain lifts on a new picture. You may see pictures you don't want to see, but those that do appeal soften them. This is music you have to grow accustomed to, like a new pair of shoes before you've broken them in. He plays all the instruments on the recording and those instruments were an interesting mix of guitar, violin, piano, low irish flute, bul-bul (pakistani banjo), accordian, and melodica.
Young artists are frequently tagged with the word 'promising', and those so tagged have made a promise with their talent. Sam Skarstad has made a promise with his new album Serkus and now you can expect to see his name in places with much more pull, savvy and prestige than this music blog.
from Serkus - BUY
[mp3]knights and ladies
Listen to tracks on his myspace page.