Sydney vocalist / producer Skeleten has announced his debut full-length album, ‘Under Utopia,’ set to be released July 28 via 2MR (NA) / Astral People Recordings (ROW). He has also shared lead single + video Sharing The Fire.
On his thrilling and immersive debut album, Skeleten dares to imagine new ways of being that are not characterised by doom or despair – a challenge in an era defined more by feelings of futility, isolation and precarity. Across eleven tracks of free-flowing, transcendent, and often euphoric electronic music, he plays spiritual guide to a musical journey which is wonderfully in touch with realms beyond our own. Praising the power of comradery and community, dreaming of a future that is joyously boundless, Skeleten’s singular debut LP is, to borrow from one of his own lines, music for dancing “any way your body turns.”
“We’re more familiar with the idea of a dystopia in the modern world – that’s more close to our consciousness,” shares Russell Fitzgibbon, “I think on this album I wanted to explore the importance of imaging and embodying a new world.”
Ideals of connectivity come to the fore on lead single Sharing The Fire, a song that crackles with optimism. A sprawling dance track with pulsating synths and Skeleten’s gentle, warm vocals, Sharing The Fire imagines a future that is full of brightness and bliss. Born from an “almost frustrated desire to connect with more people and feel that sense of community through shared goals,” it’s a track animated by the promise articulated in the track’s chorus: For all you know, summer could be around the corner. The accompanying video clip, shot on 35mm, is similarly invested in ideas of companionship and gathering. Shot in a clinical, drab office space, friends and revellers fill the space with warmth and energy. Watch the video for Sharing The Fire via YouTube below or listen here.
Written before and during the pandemic, ‘Under Utopia’ was born out of a desire to connect with others and to shake the mantle of introspection that had been placed on his previous works. As the project has evolved, the artist has gained clarity on what he hopes his music will achieve: bringing people together, and creating an atmosphere of elation.
Threading together previous singles Walking On Your Name, Mirrored and No Drones In The Afterlife, Skeleten’s debut full-length is a record that prioritises immediate pleasures without forgoing intimacy, reaching outward with inviting choruses and mantra-like melodies. “I think the album came out of the experience of feeling this great desire to reconnect and dreaming of the power of community,”says the musician. Suffused with cloudy, baritone vocals, glistening synths and truncated beats, it’s an 11 track collection “about seeing the world entirely new, full of hope and beauty, and all of us underneath pushing it upwards”. Sprawling and shimmering in equal measure, tied together by Fitzgibbon’s spacious, airy production, Under Utopia finds an antidote for the ever-pervasive gloom of contemporary life in the transformative power of love, community and an enduring, determined optimism that gestures toward a better and brighter future just over the horizon.
Russell Fitzgibbon cut his teeth in Sydney’s tight-knit electronic community just as the city itself was forging its own identity. Debuting under his solo moniker in late 2020, Skeleten is Fitzgibbon’s most personal project to date, the sound of him unfiltered for the first time as both a vocalist and producer. At once intimate and otherworldly, at the core of the project lies a strong sense of uncomplicated openness and a deeply rhythmic, meditative ambience. Strikingly unplaceable, the result is a curious yet alluring amalgam of far-flung influences and emotive atmospheres that invites you to get repeatedly lost in. In between his debut and the long-awaited release of Under Utopia, Skeleten’s consistent output has seen him accrue rotation and praise from Double J, XLR8R, NME, Dummy Magazine, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Recommends Spotlight Artist and receive the official remix treatment from the likes of Logic1000, Moktar, Jennifer Loveless and Rings Around Saturn.
‘Under Utopia’ track listing
03. Walking On Your Name
04. Heart Full Of Tenderness
05. Territory Day
06. No Drones In The Afterlife
07. Under Utopia
08. Colour Room
09. Right Here It’s Only Love
10. Sharing The Fire
11. Everything We Need In The World