Band of the Day

2012.04.19

Ski Lodge

Tropical indie pop that's more fitting for the beach than the slopes
You say that life is a game, lost in the heat of winter, and I vow to never be the same.
lyrics from A Game

Ski Lodge is a solo project from Brooklyn-based singer/musician Andrew Marr, previously of The Clementines, which started in early 2011. Ski Lodge has only record to date, the four song self-titled EP released in 2011 on Dovecote Records. The tropical and soothing sounds created by Marr require that Ski Lodge’s live shows, which only began in November of last year, enlist the help of musicians Jared O’Connel (Bass), John Barinaga (Guitar), and Tim McCoy (Guitar). The New York outfit cites influences such as The Smiths, The Strokes, Beach Boys, Youth Lagoon, and Future Island. Ski Lodge has no official release date set, but have hopes of releasing a single in spring 2012 which would preclude a planned LP release later in the year.

Eleven minutes and fifty six seconds. That is the total length of recorded Ski Lodge songs currently in existence, just in case you were wondering if we were short-changing you on songs today. Brooklyn-based singer/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Marr started Ski Lodge as a solo project in early 2011 (though now counts three additional band members for live shows), and has only released a four-song EP to date. Based on the band name alone, you might expect Ski Lodge to make the type of warm, cozy folk music that's meant to be listened to while lounging next to a fireplace in a wooly sweater, a hot toddy in one hand, after a day hitting the slopes.

Instead, Ski Lodge's music is much more fitting for the tropical climate of Palm Beach, Florida, where Marr lived (and where he was in a group called The Clementines) before migrating north to Brooklyn. Take the EP's bright and summery opening track, “A Game,” with surf rock-inspired guitar riffs and background “ahh-ahh's” that swoop in like seagulls who've just spotted an open cooler of snacks sitting unattended on the sand. When Marr sings, “You say life is a game/lost in the heat of winter,” it's almost like he's making a subtle nod to the disconnect between the band's name and music.

“Chandeliers” also evokes beach-y imagery, with a plucking guitar combined with light keys that almost sound like organ music you might hear while strolling down a boardwalk. Marr also sings about wanting to escape to the seaside city of Barcelona (“I hear that it's the place to be/the place to be”), after feeling self-conscious at a party where everyone “was dressed like David Bowie.”

Shifting the tempo down a few notches, providing a nice contrast to the lighter feel of the previous tracks, is “I Would Die To Be.” There's more of a yearning to Marr's voice, especially as he sings lines like, “I would die to be/just to be someone/just to be someone that you loved.” When you've spent all day at a beach, there's a bittersweet moment when the clouds start rolling in, the temperature begins to drop, and the waves start crashing more dramatically—in other words, all good days must come to an end.

The EP's final track, “The View,” is kind of like that moment. Although it has a feel-good, Afro-Caribbean rhythm and tropical guitar melody, the moment it's over you realize that, sadly, there are no other Ski Lodge songs to listen to—but at least you can press the repeat button (repeatedly, of course) until a full-length album is released.