For a sound as a rich and complex as the electronically ransacked, sweet R&B that Scandinavian newcomer Skott makes, the live set-up is difficult to get right. Given the floaty nature of her first steps, it would be easy to rely heavily on backing-tracks and sample pads. In reality, Skott and her band dodge any hints of ‘that’ll do’ complacency. Crystal clear symbols mix with murky, trembling drum pads; live bass wrestles with overdriven synth lines. For the second of two nights in the UK capital, Skott’s three-piece create a rich, immersive sound that has the basement walls of London’s Birthdays trembling in its wake.
Skott herself is unfazed. Even as the warbling, post-dubstep channelling bass of ‘Amelia’ threatens to burst eardrums, her delicate, commanding vocals ring effortlessly true. Tracing each note to its perfect landing spot, she still commands from the front, flitting from near whispers to spine-tingling bellows in a heartbeat.
With only a handful of released material, she keeps things brief and yet still manages to showcase an impressive range. The sugary-sweet pop of opener ‘Wolf’ is worlds apart from the shrieking menace of ‘Amelia’, which again shifts immediately into an as-yet unreleased track channelling Skott’s more upbeat side, distorted whistling and merry synth lines juxtaposing the unnerving gloom of moments before. The sheer unpredictability of her music is what gives such promise, and tonight is a testament to that.
Photos: Carolina Faruolo.