Skating Polly - The Big Fit (Cover Artwork)

Skating Polly

The Big Fit (2016)

Chap Stereo

Step-sister duo Skating Polly have accomplished more in their six years together than most bands have in their lifetime, and they’re still just getting started. Their fourth full-length album, The Big Fit , mixes indie, pop and riot grrrl, with 15-year-old Kelli Mayo and 19-year-old Peyton Bighorse switching duties on guitar, drums, piano and basitar (bass/guitar hybrid). Their collective vocals range from soft and sweet melodies to wild shrieks among bursts of heavy distortion. Mayo’s screeches can reach incredibly high notes, her voice having yet to be cracked by maturity. With the amount of layered vocals, it makes me wonder whether the music translates well to the stage. But upon viewing a few live videos, I realized that it won’t be a problem, though the sound is a bit more stripped down.

The album can be divided into three kinds of songs: quiet, calm piano songs, songs with Bighorse on guitar and lead vocals, which come off as the most poppy and melodic, and lastly, songs with Mayo on basitar. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Mayo’s grungy songs, especially “Perfume for Now” and “Hey Sweet.”

I still can’t seem to get over the overwhelming talent these two young girls have. I’m particularly impressed by the poetic imagery of their lyrics. It helps to know the context to make sense of the abstract verses. For instance, “Nothing More Than a Body” is apparently about the girls meeting Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel. But I would have never guessed that, listening to the opening words: “Glass eyes are common/ but mine are liquid. Strange days will follow/ glorified and over.” I certainly wasn’t writing songs that profound when I was their age. A few more years and a few more albums, and these girls will be musical veterans before the age of 25.