SKYLET GUNNER IS A FREAKSHOW BEAUTY

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Her sound is a smokey backbone shiver that overflows from the admittedly-broad confines of pop and runs down a baroque stream where it mingles with a hint of desert rock, giving us the All-American new noir sound that Lana Del Rey so graciously introduced to the masses.

Skylet checks every single box. She’s a Sultry and sensual singer with a hard, moody edge and hair-raising musical textures that echo across different stages of a romantic Americana fairy tale. Perhaps her biggest strength is not her velvety sensual vocals though, it’s her amazing songwriting, and with good reason. Gunner has been invited to writing camps all around the world (Universal Music Group, BMG, Ultra, Strengholt, and more) and she’s been credited with writing quite a few songs for other artists as well as films, TV, and animated shows.

Gunner’s newest single is of course called “Freakshow Beauty”, a name and subject which will of course evoke a romanticized version of wandering circus performers in dingy smokey tents, an image I supposed must have entered Skylet’s head when she heard a distorted organ sound coming from the hands of producer Sean Kantrowitz -with whom she ended up co-producing the song.- while they were finalizing production on “Hunter and Prey”. The odd vibe got to her and the melody took over her attention, she needed to get the song out of her and even started recording bits and pieces of it on the phone, even saying “It was fresh and inspired and needed to be written immediately. I love it when that happens—when there’s creative urgency and a song pretty much writes itself”.

 

I became enamored with this song right away. Before I realized I was enthralled by Skylet’s vocals I was already submerged deep in the music itself, which has just enough of a rock n’ roll edge to it that I felt directly spoken to. This later part was a nice surprise because I expected a pure pop sound, and while there’s certainly a lot of pop catchiness in the song, skylet doesn’t seem to skimp on other elements when it comes to building her sound. 

 

The song would end up becoming the final crowing piece of Gunner’s upcoming EP “Serpent Soul”, being the final song added to the project, curiously it is also the first to be released as a single because she assures us that it will set the tone for the rest of the EP. (Talk about setting the bar up high!) the lyrics themselves take on cyclic patterns of toxic behavior. “Like a rickety carousel, we often circle around the same shit and repeat bad patterns in relationships with others and with ourselves.” says Skylet, adding “it’s up to you to decide when you jump off and burn the place down or hang on for dear life”. Ultimately, the meaning of the song lies in accepting that each of us can be made into a “Freakshow” by circumstances, but it’s always up to us to cultivate and appreciate the beautiful parts of ourselves and each other.

Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Tyler Ross

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