Song: Skyler Skjelset – Sayoko review

by Philip Moss

Somewhere, in the moments just after you close your eyes, but before your mind clicks from being awake into sleep, there is a moment – or a series of moments – that flash with unconscious ideas and thoughts. A kind of dusk: a slew of colours that rub up against each other, but then transition into monochrome – where they vanish into infinity – never available to introspection again.

Somewhere, in these moments, sits Skyler Skjelset’s Sayoko – the third and final single release prior to the release of his new full length, Back in Heaven. Skjelset’s melodies probe like flashing prisms of light. ‘Stuck in a dream, but it feels so real / Is this life? Take me with you,’ he whispers with uncertainty, wrapped in a whirr of hazy backing voices – not vocals as such – provided by Julianna Barwick and Cassandra Jenkins. While Trevor Spencer’s cumulus drums give the song a skeletal system that allow the stunning, ethereal shadows of the song to dance and twirl to their fading breaths.

If Sayoko was a colour, it would be grey. But grey has infinite hues. And just like those moments before you sleep, to pinpoint its exact tone is impossible. Sayoko isn’t dream pop because it lies in that in-between state, but it’s close – dusk pop perhaps?

Back in Heaven will be self released on 28th August.

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