TRACK-BY-TRACK: Some Skeletons – Vigils

Nottingham rockers Some Skeletons have found plenty of new admirers thanks to their inventive Snapchat-inspired video for their alternative rock track ‘On The Rocks’ that follows the band singing along while they go about their daily routines – all caught on the mobile app. The single is taken from their debut album ‘Vigils’ and we managed to get ahold of the guys to break down the emotional record and find out the stories behind it.


Considering it’s the shortest song on the album and involves a single chord sequence (that we stole from the intro to final song ‘Rush For Mercy’) it took us a long time to finish writing this one because we couldn’t decide how to end it. We tried loads of different things over the course of a couple of months and sort of lucked on an ending that led nicely into the next song, so went with that. I wanted the lyrics to almost be like an establishing shot in a film, so the words are straightforward and pretty much just describing the scene I had in my head, that being the location in which the album is set. This and ‘Rush For Mercy’ are both written from the perspective of an outsider who is somewhere between a narrator and disinterested god. (Aidan)

With its abrupt intro and brisk pace, this was an easy choice to follow on from the Mouth. The repeated “friends in the way” line was one of the first times we got to hear how James singing backing vox would work out, and since you can hear him throughout the rest of the album, he was obviously just about adequate. Aidan overhauled some placeholder words we’d been singing to make this one about an overbearing mother’s influence on a son contemplating an unfulfilled future, I think. Along with ‘Disease’ we recorded the rhythm section months ahead of the rest of the album as a kind of test run, and weren’t later unhappy enough with them to want to redo. (Simon)

This was one of the earlier bunch of songs we started working on before James’ accident, but it didn’t have any real words until the very final vocal sessions. I was secretly really pleased when one trip to the studio had to be cancelled because Aidan was very ill. It’s now about a group of youths exploring a dangerous building they’ve always been warned to stay away from because in their town’s panicked state anything seems to go. A highlight for me drum-wise is James’ chaotic drum fill going into the bridge section, where he sounds [and often looks] a bit like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Our producer Luke told us this one was the hardest to mix, but also said that about most of the others. (Simon)

We very nearly completely rewrote half this song about a week before we were due to record, but our drummer (which is me) couldn’t come up with any good drums for the new sections so we decided they probably weren’t as good as the original ones and kept it how it was. In the end we chose it as our first “single” which just goes to show how fickle we are. The video was made in a day using Snapchat, partly because we had a day before the drummer went away for a month. Also, during recording, the cymbal chimes in the quiet bit in the middle required an extra cymbal that we couldn’t fit in the space round the drumkit, so it was recorded with the bassist dangling it on half a cymbal stand over everything else. (James)

Probably the heaviest track on the album. When we were writing it, we started putting a big snare hit in the really quiet middle section as a bit of a joke, except that it almost made it onto the album. If you ever see us live, you’ll probably see one of us cough and then smile on a certain beat as a homage to it. This song also contains the only swear word on the album and a lyric about eating dinner which so far reviewers have both loved and hated. I guess that’s probably a good thing. (James)

I think this is the only song on the album that has people other than James, Simon and I performing on it. Luke (who produced it and mixed it) and Dan (Mountains of Records head honcho) both contributed to gang vocals in the last part of the song. They’re uncredited in the artwork because we don’t want them getting a share of our wealth when we inevitably sell millions of copies. This was definitely the song I was least confident about going into recording, but it’s one of my favourites now and I think it stands up well. Lyrically, it’s a fun filled adventure about an old person contemplating ending the life of their incapacitated spouse. It’s a total party banger. (Aidan)

One of the first songs we wrote for the album, and in fact one of two we recorded the bass and drums for a few months before the main recording sessions. The lyrics revolves around town meetings, conspiracy theories and a potential apocalypse. Standard cheery Some Skeletons fare. (James)

Some of the lighter bits of the album musically are tucked away in this one, but we thought it’d make a good penultimate track because the ending’s a bit more full-on and there was nowhere else for it to go. Along with a couple of the others, I think everyone’s parts changed a fair bit in the studio where we realised we’d been clashing notes or rhythms, so when we came back to playing it live it took some relearning, but is hopefully a bit more cohesive. The idea with the lyrics was that in a particular moment all of the townsfolk believe that the end has come, and are variously trying to make amends, escape or take comfort in their surroundings. This was before I found out that Aidan’s concept for the album wasn’t necessarily supposed to include an actual catastrophic event, so what happens next is open to interpretation… (Simon)

We’d been talking for a long time about which song should open the album and none of them seemed like the right candidates, so I had a go one weekend at writing something. It was immediately decided when I showed the demo to James and Simon that it should be the final song on the album, so that worked a treat. The title is stolen from an autocorrect James’ phone came up with when we were organising how much merch we needed to take to a gig and it changed the optimistic ‘maybe there’ll be a rush for merch’ into the considerably more sinister ‘maybe there’ll be a rush for mercy’. Lyrically it’s the narrator/aloof god character from from ‘The Mouth’ doing the talking again, telling the townspeople that their relative insignificance makes their worries and actions essentially pointless, but that they shouldn’t stop looking for new experiences, meaning and perspective. And then there’s a guitar solo. (Aidan)


The band’s new album, ‘Vigils’, is available now through Mountain Of Records, and can be purchased from the band’s official website (here).

You can follow the band via their official website (here), Facebook (here) and Twitter (here).



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