steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Skittle Alley

Self-titled CDR

Series Two

Genre: indie pop, lo-fi, twee

Limoges, France

February 2010

Gentle indie pop songs from this one-man act out of Limoges, France, who's clearly more than a fan of the Sarah Records stable. These songs revel in an understated bliss constructed out of drum machines, strummed guitar lines, and blasť vocals. Stephane's voice lacks dynamism and frequently drones along, though the lack of punch is somewhat buffered by the lush and jangly guitar chords. Several songs do hook on to solid if familiar melodies -- the Belle & Sebastian quaintness of "It Was a Beautiful Day," the Elliott Smith-inflected, bare-boned acoustic guitar on "It's a Long Way Wish," prettily mellow "The Night of the Stars"... Often, this record is nothing short of pleasant, despite its understandably amateurish elements. Still, owing to the lo-fi conditions and certain faults, Skittle Alley's self-titled debut will appeal mainly to diehard indie pop enthusiasts.

skittle alley's myspace

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2009]