Resist the urge to laugh at Skinny Dyck - the playful performing artistic alias of western Canadian artist Ryan Dyck (or don’t, that’s kind of the idea). If you do elect to chew down on the name, it’s likely that a familiar flavour profile comes about - which is to be expected given the traditional country associations. What began as a side project to his steel guitar focused pursuits emerged as a principal form of expression, beginning with 2020’s Get to Know Lonesome LP, followed by the Palace Waiting EP in 2022. But inherent in the songwriting and production choices has always been a thread of something different. A careless recording mistake left unedited, a flippant lyrical bluff, or a single mic on the drums instead of 10 - “It reeks of creativity and originality not found in average country songs” (Americana Highways) and serves to set Skinny apart from the crowd.
Marinating in the success of his off-brand twang is a new batch of material that sees the celebrated songwriter stepping further away from a genre defined by its traditions. It’s a sound underwritten by the richness of time that’s been unmoored by the wandering eye of creative expression. A sort of Mac Demarco meets Merle Haggard mishmash, like a second mezcal negroni before dinner. Following successful Canadian and European tours in 2023, with showcases at Reeperbahn (Hamburg) and Come Together (Toronto) Skinny sets his sights on a new album in 2024. The first single “Can’t Change the Colour of Your Eyes” is a mid-tempo twang pulsator with muted shades of psychedelia and is to be released by Victory Pool on Feb 15. Mixed by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Bonnie Prince Billy), it seems representative of a small retreat from country music - an extended stay at the outdated lake cabin that leaves you wondering if you ever want to come back home.