The first track on â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€ is â€œCrashâ€, and it comes forth with a very grave and atmospheric feel that link together new wave acts like Enya and Enigma with hints of goth and â€œRay of â€œLightâ€-era Madonna. The resulting track is something that will stick with listeners throughout their â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€ experience, feeding in well to â€œAm Iâ€. â€œAm Iâ€ is the longest track on the disc, and while a number of artists and bands suffer through placing a long track at such an early place on their CD, Skuggaâ€™s â€œAm Iâ€ is a track that expands the range of influences and genres that she can draw upon. Where â€œCrashâ€ is a song that showcases the power and skill of the instrumental side of Skuggaâ€™s act, â€œAm Iâ€ places the vocals at a focal point.
The track itself draws on different traditions than did â€œCrashâ€, imbuing listeners with a feeling that anything can and will happen during each of the 12 cuts on â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€. â€œIâ€™m Notâ€ blends the atmospheric sound first broached during â€œCrashâ€ with a harder-edged rock style. The resulting track is one that feels as if it would fit in well with the music of late-nineties acts such as God Loves Underwater and Stabbing Westward, but Skugga exhibits skill enough to make the track speak to the current generation of music fans. â€œStand My Groundâ€ has a haunting sound that establishes an inorganic/human dichotomy to â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€, and approaches most closely Bjorkâ€™s â€œHuman Behaviorâ€.
Skugga builds upon the work of Bjork by interlacing masterfully these two distinct threads, creating for listeners a narrative in which the human â€“ Skuggaâ€™s voice â€“ is bolstered and enhanced by the inorganic â€“ the musical arrangements. It is this bifurcated way to really â€œgetâ€ â€œStand My Groundâ€ that speaks volumes on how to understand the similar way in which â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€ is created. By the time that listeners get to â€œTonightâ€, they have been exposed to countless musical styles, influences, and arrangements. The tracks may do well on the pop tracks, but there is something much more deep and meaningful to the tracks on â€œSwimming Without Webbed Toesâ€. Make it a point to pick up a copy of this album and try to enjoy Skuggaâ€™s compositions on both levels described, and keep an eye out for Skuggaâ€™s next work.
Top Tracks: Ghost, Dear Sister
Sol Skugga â€“ Swimming Without Webbed Toes / 2007 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.solskugga.nu /