× Skating Polly whirlwind throughout Europe with "Chaos County Line"

Skating Polly whirlwind throughout Europe with "Chaos County Line"


Over the past decade, few artists have embodied the unbridled freedom of punk like Skating Polly. Formed when stepsisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse were just nine and 13, the Oklahoma-bred band have channeled their chameleonic musicality into a sound they call “ugly-pop,” unruly and subversive and wildly melodic. With Kelli’s brother Kurtis Mayo joining on drums in 2017, they’ve also built a close-knit community of fans while earning the admiration of their musical forebears, a feat that’s found them collaborating with icons like X’s Exene Cervenka and Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson, touring with Babes In Toyland, and starring as the subject of a feature-length documentary. On their double album Chaos County Line, Skating Polly reach a whole new level of self-possession, ultimately sharing their most expansive and emotionally powerful work to date.

The follow-up to 2018’s The Make It All Show, Chaos County Line finds Skating Polly working again with Brad Wood, the acclaimed producer behind indie-rock classics like Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville. As their songs journey from art-punk to noise-rock to piano-driven power-pop, the band matches that musical complexity with a sharply honed narrative voice that manifests in countless forms (ultravivid poetry, diary-like confession, fearlessly detailed storytelling, etc.). Not only the outcome of their constant growth as songwriters, Chaos County Line’s scope and depth has much to do with Skating Polly’s newly heightened clarity of vision. “All these songs are the most special to me of anything I’ve ever written, and I think Kelli feels the same,” says Peyton. “In the past I didn’t always write with a clear purpose, but this time I knew exactly what I wanted to say. We both ended up writing about the most difficult emotional experiences we’ve ever been through, and instead of being terrified of saying exactly what I was feeling it just all came out so naturally.”

Over the course of its 18 kaleidoscopic tracks, Chaos County Line embraces the kind of combustible emotionality that comes from fully uncompromised self-expression. “I think on this record Kelli and Peyton were really confident in being more honest and more experimental at the same time, whereas in the past they might’ve made the lyrics more poetic in order to cloak that honesty a bit,” Kurtis points out. And as their songs shift from devastating to exhilarating to gloriously cathartic, Skating Polly hope to provide the same sense of solace and release they found in creating the album. “I love all kinds of art, but music always goes deeper; it hits you right in the gut and lets you know you’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling,” says Peyton. “I’ve had people tell me we’ve helped them get through a breakup or an abusive relationship or the death of someone they loved, and all these other heavy obstacles everyone goes through,” Kelli adds. “I feel like I’m not necessarily the best person to draw a map on how to live the happiest life, but I like the idea that our songs can make other people’s lives better in some way. I want our music to be like armor.”

Starting this month Skating Polly will whirlwind throughout Europe:

17/01: Nantes, FR - Le Ferrailleur
18/01: Tours, FR - Le Bateau Ivre
19/01: Paris, FR - Le Point Ephémère
20/01: London, UK - Omeara
21/01: Birmingham, UK - Dark Horse
23/01: Bristol, UK - Louisiana
24/01: Cardiff, UK - Clwb Ifor Bach
25/01: Manchester, UK - Factory
27/01: Edinburgh, UK - Mash House
28/01: Glasgow, UK - Classic Grand
31/01: Groningen, NL - Vera
01/02: Haarlem, NL - Patronaat
02/02: Eindhoven, NL - Stroomhuis
03/02: Diksmuide, BE - 4AD
04/02: Cologne, DE - MTC
06/02: Karlsruhe, DE - KoHi
07/02: Munich, DE - MILLA
09/02: Berlin, DE - Reset Club
10/02: Aalborg, DK - 1000Fryd
11/02: Hamburg, DE - Stellwerk
13/02: Oberhausen, DE - Druckluft
14/02: Stuttgart, DE - Galao
16/02: Dresden, DE - Scheune

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