Airy vocals and 60s and 90s influences- a Skinny Dippers Banana Interview

Airy vocals and 60s and 90s influences- a Skinny Dippers Banana Interview
7th April 2022 sandra

Skinny Dippers is a Brooklyn NY based Indie Music project formed in 2020 and fronted by singer/songwriter Ryan Gross. Drawing from his roots growing up on the coast of Maine, his style spans a broad range of genres by blending guitar-driven indie rock arrangements with analog synthesizers and choral harmonies.

In 2021, Gross enlisted the help of neighbors Jordan Dunn-Pilz and Dan Alvarez of the band TOLEDO to join as collaborators and bandmates on his debut album The Town & The City. The songs blend Indie-Rock, Folk, and Dream Pop forming a collection of stories about growing up on the rural coast and moving into adulthood in the depths of New York City.

 

If you had to describe your sound to someone that has never heard you, what would you say?

Some of the descriptions I keep hearing center around my music being melodically driven and narrative in nature, with airy vocals and blends of the 60s and 90’s influences. I’m a sucker for harmonies, tapey/analog sounds, and something you can hum along to, so I would definitely agree with those descriptors. If you’re looking for nostalgia-drenched sad boi indie then my upcoming album The Town & The City is going to be right up your alley.

In “Wedding ring” you care about the music but the songwriting is also a really important part of the song. Which comes first: melody or lyrics? Could you outline your composition process?

I honestly wish I had more of a standardized process as I feel it would help me write more songs. Most of my best songs have just poured out of me and were written very quickly while I was feeling inspired in the moment. I usually start with a chord progression on guitar and some sort of melodic hook, then try to write lyrics around the vibe I’m getting from those initial musical seeds. I typically hear some sort of sound that I half sing without real words then try to fit meaningful lyrics to the sounds that seemed to match the guitar parts. Most of what I write about is autobiographical or at least inspired by things that have happened in my life which my subconscious seems to want to get out. I guess in that way composing songs is sort of therapeutic in a way, so when there’s not a lot going on in my life it becomes more challenging to write songs!

 

You only have a few singles on Spotify but you’ve been already featured by relevant blogs and curators. Did you expect this success?

Releasing music was initially something I just wanted to do for myself. I didn’t have any specific goals or expectations, but just wanted to record something and share it with the world. The initial reception to my first single Panties was so positive that it inspired me to really focus on recording more of the songs I have written over the last few years. I got the opportunity to work with some of my favorite artists in TOLEDO and Jay Som who helped produce and mix my latest record, and after hearing the final product I was optimistic that listeners would love these songs as much as I do.

 

What are your plans for the future? Any new releases?

My next single Night to Day will be coming out on April 8th. This will be the third single off my upcoming debut album The Town & The City which I plan to release later this summer. I’m also starting to look into booking shows for this summer in New York around the album release. It’ll be so fun to get in a room and play these songs live with a band for the first time since recording in the studio.

 

If you were a… type of plant?

I’d be a golden pothos. I like to branch out in many directions, I’m easy to care for, not too temperamental, and will flourish if you give me water, light, and warmth.

 

🌃 What’s your favorite moment…day or night?

Perhaps this is because I’m secretly a walking golden pothos, but I love the golden hour when the sun is just beginning to set on a summer night, and the world seems to just bathe in a rich flaxen atmosphere as if you’re just walking through an Instagram filter.

A picture of you as a kid

 

Something you’re really good at but it’s a strange ability.

I’ve never lost a thumb war

📢 Give us 5 emerging artists that you want to highlight for everyone to discover right now

Vern Matz, Darryl Rahn, Sarah Elizabeth Haines, Almost Sex are all NYC based artists that I’ve known for a while or have recently been turned on to. I also met another artist Elison through a course offered by School of Song that we both took, and I have been jamming to their first two songs they’ve just put out.

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