After turning so many heads with their 2008 sophomore release, All Of Us In Our Night, as well as appearing on the video game Rock Band 2, some may wonder how the Athens pop/rock group Modern Skirts would return when that time eventually came. Could anything they do top the local and sub-sequential SXSW successes they have achieved? With the release of Happy 81 EP, the prequel to their upcoming full length album due this fall, some listeners might be a bit upset. But, the real fans are going to have their minds blown.
Recorded entirely by the band in singer Jay Gulley’s bedroom, what you will hear throughout Happy 81 EP is the raw emotion of a pop/rock band that found themselves trapped in an overproduced line of work. Sure, having a catchy and well received album (which featured production from the bass man for R.E.M.) can be nice. But, it’s not unlikely that you could lose a sense of sentimental attachment to the music you create. And Modern Skirts must have seen the storm clouds coming because they took a step back and realized that tracks like “Rebecca St. Claire” and “Thomas Wolfe” from this EP were what they would really love to do. These songs they were creating simply for the joy of creating. And though the lo-fi acoustics of the album may appear similar to many artists developing music on a budget these days, this is pure artistic ingenuity at its finest.
Modern Skirts are a pop band that never really seemed to conform. So how odd is it really to see why Jay and the boys would decide to take all matters into their own hands and create something they consider to be pure at heart and exactly what they want to make as artists. Even looking past all the controversy and ill conceived confusion, Happy 81 is a spectacular display of lo-fi pop with a real raw power to entertain. These are the facts. Whether the Skirts want to hear that or not!
Download: “Rebecca St. Claire” by Modern Skirts
1. On The Ride When We Go Out There
2. Happy 81
3. Rebecca St. Claire
6. Thomas Wolfe