The news I’ve been waiting for! UK reggae/ska/tropical/punk/alternative/awesomeness/etc. band The Skints will be releasing their much anticipated 4th album, Swimming Lessons on May 10th via Easy Star Records / Mr Bongo. Their first single has been playing constantly since I heard it and can’t wait to hear what else the band has done. Hopefully the next news from the band is that they are playing New York again!
The press release on the new release:
London “tropical punk” four-piece, THE SKINTS, are pleased to announce their highly-anticipated fourth album, SWIMMING LESSONS, which will be released May 10, 2019 via Easy Star / Mr Bongo.
Drawing on influences as sprawling as Bad Brains, Popcaan, No Doubt, Alton Ellis, Wiley and Weezer, Swimming Lessons deals with crushing heartbreak, the impending doom of Brexit, surviving as an independent musician and navigating the weird world of 2019 – all of these are proverbial “swimming lessons” life throws at us.
Born from the underground London punk scene, The Skints have built up a formidable live reputation in recent years, playing as much as 150 shows a year, and have been described by Clash Magazine as “the torchbearers for modern British reggae music”, marking them out as one of the most respected bands in UK music while still staying strict to their independent DIY roots.
Along with sold-out shows across the UK, Europe and the U.S., the band have performed at some of the biggest festivals in the world, and recently received plaudits for their new single “Learning to Swim”, grabbing critical acclaim, airplay and nods of approval from far and wide including the i (The Independent), Louder Than War and Don Letts on BBC Radio 6 Music.
Lyrically their darkest and most introspective release to date, Swimming Lessons takes its inspiration from reggae, soul, dub, punk, ragga and rap. The Skints have a knack for fusing different genres of music that strike an accessible chord with a political, personal and philosophical message. From 8 Bit-influenced dancehall to sound system shaking dub, melodic grunge to harmony laden soul, ‘Swimming Lessons’ boasts collaborations with three of Jamaica’s brightest roots stars of today.
“In the four years since our last album, FM, the band has toured globally non-stop. The creative hunger in us has been building up so much, because as an independent operation, we simply haven’t had the luxury of spending money on studio time whilst playing to sustain ourselves”, says guitarist and vocalist Josh Waters Rudge.
New single “Learning to Swim” is a sentimental blend of lovers rock, pop and hardcore punk as The Skints confront personal tragedy while the rub-a-dub heavy “Restless”, questions the broken promises and perpetual lies of those governing over us today and features Grammy-nominated Jamaican reggae star Protoje on vocal duties who flows on the track in a style only he can deliver.
Elsewhere, The Skints delve into pop-punk territory with “What Did I Learn Today” and “The Island”, showcasing the band’s ability to effortlessly jump from one genre to the next, before the collaborations continue with freestyler Runkus on the carnival-friendly “Armageddon” and Jesse Royal on the soulful “Love is the Devil.”
“As well as enlisting some of the absolute best of Jamaican vocal talent on the features, we’re really trying to push all ends of the spectrum of what The Skints music is and can be. Our whole back catalog is diverse in mood and emotion, song to song, and on Swimming Lessons, we’ve tried to take things a step further”, adds keyboardist/vocalist Marcia Richards.
Formed while at school in 2007, The Skints hail from the Waltham Forest and Redbridge boroughs of North East London, cutting their teeth in the London ska-punk scene before venturing out of the M25 to play their first self-booked DIY venture and embark on a heaving touring regime across the nation’s “toilet venue” circuit.
Debut album Live, Breathe, Build, Believe, released at the end of 2009, was championed by BBC Radio 1’s Punk Show, whilst 2012’s Part & Parcel, was the second full-length album by the band and further built their fan base and opened doors to heavy touring, festivals and markets outside of the UK and across Europe. The follow-up album, the critically-acclaimed FM, released in 2015, reached #5 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and #7 on the Independent Albums Chart in the UK and saw The Skints tour relentlessly across the USA, Canada and Japan.
Since the band’s inception, The Skints have toured extensively across the globe, playing hundreds of shows and festivals including Summerjam (Germany), Dour Festival (Belgium), California Roots (US) and ReggaeSunSka (France). In the UK, The Skints sold-out their most recent 10-date UK tour including Shepherd’s Bush Empire and have performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Bestival, Glastonbury and Boomtown Festival, performing to 15,000 fans. In addition, the band have supported bands that include NOFX, 311, Less Than Jake, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mariachi El Bronx, You Me At Six, Sublime with Rome and Easy Star All Stars.
Supporters of The Skints include BBC Radio 2’s Jonathan Ross, Robert Elms on BBC Radio London, Steve Lamacq and Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6 Music and David Rodigan on BBC Radio 1Xtra.
Easy Star Records is the leading independent reggae label in the U.S., with a diverse stable of artists that includes Rebelution, Protoje, The Green, Easy Star All-Stars, The Black Seeds, The Expanders, New Kingston, Gentleman’s Dub Club, and others.