In the early 90s the golden days of live Australian music had subsided into a burnt out landscape of corporate pop and encroaching pokies. Yet on the outskirts change was signalled by the emergence of grunge, the rise of rave culture, and the first jolts of homegrown hip hop. SKUNKHOUR emerged from this time playing a unique brand of alternative funk blending elements of new wave and hip hop, with the searing vocals and freeform rhymes of brothers Aya and Del Larkin taking centre stage. Audiences immediately connected with the band and their rise through the Australian music landscape was meteoric. Now SKUNKHOUR share their brand new EP Parts of the Sun, – four tracks which will satisfy the purist SKUNKHOUR fan, as well as the newly converted.
SKUNKHOUR have been reunited and playing shows since 2009, with calls from fans to create new material going unanswered until now. The world recently pausing lit the fire, and a three day studio session was booked, in which the band jammed together like the old days to create four new tracks. The EP kicks off with the much anticipated lead single Blue. A stomping 80’s inspired up funk jam set to topics of teenage dreams and self exploration which has been added to Double J rotation, and currently sits at #1 on the AMRAP regional charts. Daylight follows, a track that harks back to the more up tempo frenetic funk of their debut album. Del’s rapid fire rhymes jump out of the gates over a thumping bass line before giving way to Aya’s sweet falsetto and a soaring chorus and tales of personal struggles and redemption. Waitasec will appeal to SKUNKHOUR die-hards – an atmospheric down tempo soul funk tune with a sweet Afro centric horn line weaving through the groove is perfectly reminiscent of the band’s heyday pocket, with Del’s poetic conversational rhymes sitting squarely in the spotlight. Rounding out the EP is Silverbird, tipping its hat to late 70s early 80s RnB funk and blue eyed soul with a four on the floor percussive groove and breezy soulful interplay of keys and bass. Melodically it’s a more intimate and emotive performance from Aya who’s writing talents take centre stage.
Of the EP, Del says, ‘People have been asking about new material for quite a while now, but we had to wait until it felt right. Maybe it was to do with Covid and having some time to reflect? Maybe we were all just finally ready? Whatever the reason or impetus we couldn’t be happier with the results. For a four track EP, I think it’s a great example of the band’s range, versatility and strengths. Each track has its own distinct origins and character. Without attempting to, we have kind of re-explored our history and influences, but then also delivered something that we feel is somewhat of a new direction for us in ‘Blue’. It’s vintage yet also atypical Skunkhour.’
From their early conjuring of alchemic grooves in a Kings Cross nightclub, to blitzing main stages in front of massive festival crowds, SKUNKHOUR pried open a closed door through which acts such as the Hilltop Hoods, the Cat Empire, and the Avalanches followed, and their sound is one that resonates to this day. The band will be appearing at the below dates during September and October to celebrate the EP.
Tickets at https://www.skunkhour.com.au/