Skinny Pelembe is excited to share his new single “Deadman Deadman Deadman” and its accompanying video. Watch the video HERE.
The track is the latest release from his forthcoming album ‘Hardly The Same Snake‘, which will be released on 28th April on Partisan Records (Idles, Fontaines D.C, Fela Kuti, Laura Marling, Beth Orton).
The new music arrives as Skinny Pelembe confirms new UK headline tour dates for this October.
SKINNY PELEMBE – UK TOUR 20223
10 Oct – Hare & Hounds 2, Birmingham, UK
“Deadman Deadman Deadman” contemplates the transient nature of life and the legacy we leave behind, as Skinny reels off a laundry list of occupations over a glitchy, minimalist beat, before posing the question, “where do we go from here?” The gritty, thought-provoking track offers a glimpse into the complex world Skinny has created with ‘Hardly The Same Snake‘, unable to be contained to any specific genre and pulling from a vast, eclectic collection of references curated by a diehard muso.
Speaking about the new single, Skinny says: “You can be any kind of person you want, eventually we all end up in the same place.”
The single is accompanied by a fittingly dark video. The clip features chilling, AI-generated portraits of Skinny, interspersed with sinister imagery of priests, skulls and businessmen.
‘Hardly The Same Snake‘ is Skinny Pelembe’s second album, following 2019’s ‘Dreaming Is Dead Now‘, which was released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings to widespread acclaim.
“I never considered myself a singer before now,” says Skinny Pelembe. ‘Hardly The Same Snake‘ is the sound of the Johannesburg-born, Doncaster-raised artist finally finding his voice – both literally and figuratively. In practical terms, that involved finding the courage to bring his gravelly baritone to the foreground, but it also meant figuring out the artist he truly wanted to be. As he puts it today, “This album is what I would have created first time round had I rated my own voice.”
The idea of forging your own path – and shedding skin, so to speak – is integral to ‘Hardly The Same Snake‘. Begun pre-pandemic and completed in the spring of 2021, the album was re-recorded twice due to Skinny’s dissatisfaction with early experiments and desire to flip the script on the winning formula he’d established with his debut.
Determined that the collection shouldn’t sound like a band record, but equally mustn’t feel “too button push-y”, Skinny assembled songs by sampling instrumentation originally recorded live, including chopped and looped versions of the brilliantly complex beats played by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics. It was a painstaking process that paid off, resulting in an album fathoms ahead of its promising predecessor, and one that honestly reflects Skinny’s creative evolution. Its sound is far-reaching and technicolour; gloriously genre-agnostic, incorporating jungle-inspired rhythms, saloon-style pianos, low-slung indie-rock and Afrobeat-meets-8-bit-riffs.
Lyrically, ‘Hardly The Same Snake‘ is a defiantly outward-looking record contemplating family, religion and major life milestones, from parenthood to death. Where previously Skinny relied on dream diaries as his primary lyrical resource, this time he took notes at design exhibitions, using these unfiltered observations as a jumping off point for songs.
The album opens with the ominous stream of consciousness “Same Eye Colour“, considering the respectable face of corruption – from Florsheim-clad hustlers operating in the name of organised religion to the politicians that betrayed the Windrush generation. “Like A Heart Won’t Beat” contemplates mortality, while “Don’t Be Another” grapples with ideas of familial responsibility. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the mind of an artist who is unafraid to dive into the political and the personal with a raw intensity that leaves the listener feeling inspired.
The album culminates in a choral dedication to Skinny’s childhood hiding place, performed by Doncaster choir Rainbow Connections. Listen closely enough and you’ll even find a secret code to crack. A rare moment of tranquillity, for its author the song provides a vital space to reflect on the lives he’s lived and the artist he’s evolving into. Because if this superb second album proves anything, it’s that it doesn’t matter how much Skinny errs on the side of self-deprecation – he remains one of the UK’s most fearlessly original voices.