Skylar Gudasz grew up in a little town 15 miles north of Richmond, Virginia, and her musical journey started equally small. She picked up flute at the age of five, was taught guitar by her brother in elementary school, and sat down at a piano a few years later. After graduating from the University of North Carolina and recording a few EPs, she caught the ear of Chapel Hill producer Chris Stamey. He asked her to join his Big Star’s Third tribute, and that’s when everything got bigger.
“Playing with Big Star’s Third gave me so many opportunities, gave me confidence,” Gudasz said in a press release. “It made me think bigger.” The result of these bigger thoughts is her big debut LP, Oleander, due out February 19th. Ahead of the release, it’s streaming in full below.
You can hear the new scope of Gudasz alt-country music right from the first few bars of opening track “Kick Out the Chair”. Strings burst dramatically with détaché strokes before giving way to a sweet, classic folk song accented with classical structures. Elsewhere, she reveals a playful side on tracks like “I’m So Happy I Could Die” and “I’ll Be Your Man”. “About Great Men” shows off a piano-pop ear akin to Regina Spektor. Cumulatively, the whole album is a spectacular introduction to a worthy, captivating new voice in Americana.
“Oleander is an album of the road, half daylight and half nighttime,” Gudasz tells Consequence of Sound. “Distance, leaving and staying, dreams, and impermanence stand out as the themes these songs touch on. We worked to capture a stripped back honesty, with live takes singing and playing on the gorgeous piano at the Fidelitorium. We had fun recording with Scott Litt in Venice, and doing overdubs varying from orchestral arrangements to space echo reverb to Ken Vandermark’s clarinet at Chris Stamey’s Modern Recording in Chapel Hill, NC.”
Catch Gudasz on tour at the following East Coast dates.
Skylar Gudasz 2016 Tour Dates:
02/19 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Flyleaf Books
03/11 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel *
03/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
03/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
03/15 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs *
04/01 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle Backroom
04/15 – Winston-Salem, NC @ Phuzz Phest