Skylar Spence Prom King
North America: firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL YOU WANT
• Publicity by Life or Death
• College, non-comm, and specialty radio promotion by Terrorbird
• The debut album from The Artist Formerly Known As Saint Pepsi
• New live band playing major North American festivals this summer, including Firefly, Osheaga, Electric Forest, and Lollapalooza
• Full North American tour planned for fall
• Music videos in the works
• Album features “Fiona Coyne” and a new version of “Fall Harder” from last summer’s hit 7″
• “Fiona Coyne” surpassed one million plays on SoundCloud in under eight months
• Deluxe LP includes metallic gold vinyl, a stick of Skylar Spence-branded gum, and free digital download
Deluxe LP: 677517010749
2. Can’t You See
3. Prom King
4. I Can’t Be Your Superman
6. Fall Harder
7. Bounce is Back
9. All I Want
10. Cash Wednesday
11. Fiona Coyne
When Ryan DeRobertis announced the name change of his project from Saint Pepsi to Skylar Spence, there was no indication of any stylistic departure, though the change arrived with a musical shift toward faster tempos and more pristine production. Whereas Saint Pepsi had often used decades-old boogie, disco, and new wave as grist for the sampling mill, Skylar Spence is intent on trafficking more overtly in those genre aesthetics through his own production techniques and vocal contributions. With Prom King, DeRobertis reorients his music for his new full-band live act and winds up with an album full of tight and enveloping dance tunes.
Working with Carpark Records “gave me the confidence to ‘go big’ with the new material: to write pop songs with universal messages in the sonic wrapping paper that I’ve grown accustomed to,” DeRobertis says. “A few songs on Prom King are about specific events in my life—a party where I got too messed up, watching a friend’s life spiral out of control and trying to help—but I tried hard not to be too autobiographical because I want my music to unite, above all else. I’m much more interested in connecting with the listener than mystifying my personality.”
While DeRobertis’ previous long-players have been more amorphous collections in the style of beat tapes, Prom King is compact and cohesive, with the album’s varied stylistic references (new wave, UK garage, boogie) united through strong guitar melodies and Todd Edwards-ian cobblings-together of tiny vocal samples. “I slowed some music down and called myself an artist,” DeRobertis sings on lead single “Can’t You See,” acknowledging in his lyrics what is already apparent in the music’s tone—he can maintain fidelity to his vision while working in more uptempo, disco-based song structures. “Ridiculous!” and “Bounce Is Back” are big groovers that capitalize on jacking hi-hats and hand drumming, respectively, and both have an air of Balearic warmth and smoothness. On the title track, DeRobertis entwines a chorus of unintelligible but expressive samples with his own vocals—what feels like a synthesis of two approaches—and the result is an affecting pattern of build and release. More contemplative sophisti-pop numbers like “Fall Harder” and “Affairs” add a realist’s breadth of scope: thoughts of past foibles bleed into present-dwelling and dancing. Prom King is DeRobertis making sense of missed opportunities. His high school did not have a prom king; he has filled the position with an imaginative album of personal and musical revisionism.
Skylar Spence is the continuation of Ryan DeRobertis’ Saint Pepsi project, which he started in late 2012. In the years since, he’s released a number of sample-y long-players full of slo-mo funk and boogie, and he rose to prominence as one of the more distinct voices associated with vaporwave corners of the Internet.
Growing up listening to the likes of Duran Duran and Chic, 22-year-old DeRobertis had plenty of inspiration when he started Saint Pepsi as an Ableton exercise. And though he began writing music at age 13, he hadn’t tried writing his own song in the style of his favorite music until “Fall Harder,” which appears on Skylar Spence’s full-length debut, Prom King. After strengthening his skills as a producer with the Hit Vibes album, he began incorporating his own instruments and production flourishes into his work, first with the Gin City EP. Prom King distills DeRobertis’ sampling style into an idiosyncratic melody machine, introduced his own vocals to the mix, and adopted tighter disco and new wave song structures. It’s “pop music for freaks,” as DeRobertis has it—outlandish aesthetics filtered through his deft intuition.