No lie: “Love is a Drum”, the first single from teenager Jack Skuller, will stay in your head for days. I don’t mean that in the way “Macarena” or “Mambo # 5” takes up mental real estate, because this won’t make you have an aneurysm. No, this is just a great song. We’re not alone, either. According to Examiner, they think he wrote “the best single released by anyone this year.” Sure, an accolade like that is always debatable, but, naturally, it will no doubt peak your interest. It’s sort of like someone claiming they saw a ghost in the bedroom. Are you going to run in there and check? Of course you are.
Boo! It’s Jack Skuller.
Before you get “up in arms” about the boy’s age, please know that this is not some rogue pop star, looking to mix dance beats for the ice cream socials or youth clubs across America. No, not at all. Instead, Skuller looks to yesteryear and works with an earnest vintage sound – all with music he’s written himself. Sporting a black tie and suit, the Weehawken, NJ rocker uses this throwback style to complement his sound. (It also makes him come off as more mature and professional, too.) Admittedly, it’s a style that’s been done in the past, and rather successfully, but not in this generation. It’s clean cut, innocent, and simple. Move over Bieber. With the right guidance, it is very possible that we may have an even bigger star on our hands.
He’s already working with the right hands, so it seems. Alongside producer Daniel Rey (The Ramones, Ronnie Spector), Skuller’s carved out his influences – definite Ramones, mixed with a Beatlesy, throwback vibe – and issued a tune that could have easily been played back in the sixties. It probably would have been a hit then too. It’s not very complicated, but its repetitive nature begs for a sing-a-long. Think about The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. Simple and to the point, but, hey, they turned out alright.
Old records aren’t Skuller’s only influence, however. “My dad is my biggest musical inspiration,” Skuller says. “He was a singer/songwriter, and I went to his shows even when I was little and still in a stroller! He taught me to write from experience. Real things and real feelings.”
Right now, there aren’t too many roadblocks for Skuller. Given his successful run through CMJ and slew of recent dates throughout NYC, Skuller should have the public screaming and singing along in no time. He is young, plays his own instruments, and writes his own songs. In a day where most of the young musicians are singing pop songs for The Disney Channel, this is admirable and refreshing. Check him out…if you dare.