A blend of often abrasive electronic beats, lush vocal harmonies, spiky guitar lines, and striking synthesizer leads, jellyskin is made up of musicians Will & Zia who have been creating music together since late 2016.
Counting The Horrors’ Faris Badwan and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion as fans, the band have released a sold-out tape on Manchester’s Blak Hand Records and self-released an acclaimed EP since beginning the project. Alongside these releases jellyskin have found themselves supporting the Brian Jonestown Massacre at a sold-out O2 Academy in Birmingham, The Moonlandingz at their biggest UK date, at The Leadmill in Sheffield and artists including British Sea Power, Shonen Knife, The KVB, Warmduscher, HMLTD, Baba Naga, and Madonnatron, as well performances at Live at Leeds and Long Division Festival.
While their first few releases took in shoegaze, drone rock, and dream pop, the band slowly turned away from these initial influences with the releases of singles ‘Eater’ and ‘Judder’, which were a marked change from the songs that had come before. The band had their ‘Road to Damascus’ moment when they stopped using ‘traditional’ drums and started making some of their own percussive sounds.
This freedom and creativity opened up their interest in making heavier and more intricate music, as well as playing this live. This meant that influences such as techno, early dubstep, and krautrock, though worn lightly, were fused into the music.
New single ‘Half Pedal’ is “a kind of alternative ‘9 to 5’ for the tardy among us” explains Zia, the lyrics to the song being loosely based around the eternal struggle to be ready on time. The music itself was born from a pre-set drumbeat of a Yamaha PSR keyboard named ‘salsa’ which the duo took and ran with…
“The bulk of ‘Half Pedal’ took no time to write which is a bit of a change for us as we tend to spend ages tweaking and changing. The drum beat has a great acid-house, 303 feel to it, lots of bleeps and bloops. Looking back on it, the dense textures remind us of stuff like Amadou and Mariam. It’s one of the more upbeat songs we’ve done. Our dear friend and collaborator Theo Cookson recorded it for us in his home studio and helped to produce it. Theo played the woodblock and some of the other percussion you can hear. Will played the tight, LCD-esque live drums on the chorus. It’s the first time in a while we’ve had some ‘real’ acoustic instruments on it, and the first time there’s been next to no guitar – there must be about two seconds of guitar in the whole track. It’s always refreshing to change things up; when we play this live, we swap around on stage and Will plays synth so Zia can focus more on the vocals. We’re excited to finally be releasing ‘Half Pedal’ after getting a great reaction to it at our gigs. It’s a song for all moods and all occasions.”